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Valuist
08-12-2013, 02:17 PM
Any BJ players out there? For anyone thinking of learning card counting, I strongly recommend the Casino Verite software. Great way to practice without having to pay financial dues in a real casino.

wiffleball whizz
08-12-2013, 05:31 PM
Any BJ players out there? For anyone thinking of learning card counting, I strongly recommend the Casino Verite software. Great way to practice without having to pay financial dues in a real casino.

I'll get more into this later but card counting is irrelevant.....8 decks where they bury 70-90 cards makes it pointless...

Worst game in the planet....people say the casino edge is .07 percent.....my ass...if I break then you break I lose,...it's a 12 percent hold game to say the least...

And another bj move nobody really Knows about is your supposed to split 8s against a 10......I wouldn't do that for a million dollars

I'm in the poker department so I don't deal blackjack but everytime im walking past bj tables the dealer always got a 10 up....always playing defense....

Then there is the "pulling cards from thd sky" factor....where the dealer pulls cards from outer space to win the hand

lamboguy
08-12-2013, 05:43 PM
I'll get more into this later but card counting is irrelevant.....8 decks where they bury 70-90 cards makes it pointless...

Worst game in the planet....people say the casino edge is .07 percent.....my ass...if I break then you break I lose,...it's a 12 percent hold game to say the least...

And another bj move nobody really Knows about is your supposed to split 8s against a 10......I wouldn't do that for a million dollars

I'm in the poker department so I don't deal blackjack but everytime im walking past bj tables the dealer always got a 10 up....always playing defense....

Then there is the "pulling cards from thd sky" factor....where the dealer pulls cards from outer space to win the handi agree with this, everyone always claimed if you were a good BJ player the house only had 2% edge, but i always thought it was more, if it really was only 2 % they wouldn't have so many blackjack tables in those joints. the only edges i ever found in casinos was horse racing when the house booked it. i was out in the dessert betting them and got thrown out of every place when i was out there. i also had a few winning seasons betting hockey in the mid 1970's, but once you beat them they cut you back. gambling against the house is always a tough go no matter what game you play.

thaskalos
08-12-2013, 05:55 PM
I'll get more into this later but card counting is irrelevant.....8 decks where they bury 70-90 cards makes it pointless...

Worst game in the planet....people say the casino edge is .07 percent.....my ass...if I break then you break I lose,...it's a 12 percent hold game to say the least...

And another bj move nobody really Knows about is your supposed to split 8s against a 10......I wouldn't do that for a million dollars

I'm in the poker department so I don't deal blackjack but everytime im walking past bj tables the dealer always got a 10 up....always playing defense....

Then there is the "pulling cards from thd sky" factor....where the dealer pulls cards from outer space to win the hand
Come on, Whizz...get serious.

I can play practically even with the house with a simplified card-counting system that I can teach you in one day...or a half-hour if you can keep from fantasizing about horses for at least that long... :)

Blackjack is far from the "worst game on the planet"...and yes, you SHOULD split the eights against the dealer's 10...unless, of course, your survival depends on the outcome of this particular hand.

Valuist
08-12-2013, 06:09 PM
Agree with Thask. When the count doesn't factor into play, ALWAYS split aces and eights.

While there's bad places to play BJ, they all aren't bad. The 8 decks isn't as important as how far the penetration goes.

Lambo- the house edge is MUCH less than 2%. If you are playing correct basic strategy, the house edge is one half of one percent.

wiffleball whizz
08-12-2013, 06:18 PM
Come on, Whizz...get serious.

I can play practically even with the house with a simplified card-counting system that I can teach you in one day...or a half-hour if you can keep from fantasizing about horses for at least that long... :)

Blackjack is far from the "worst game on the planet"...and yes, you SHOULD split the eights against the dealer's 10...unless, of course, your survival depends on the outcome of this particular hand.

Thask your crazy!!!!!!!!! It's the worst game in the house

Lamboguy is correct there are tons of bj tables for a reason....you can't play perfect and be close to even percentages...you can of they don't bury 70-90 cards.....you just can't

And baccarat being another low house edge game is bullshit....nobody wins in the game......I play and they stick me in a hole I always gotta get out of

Dice is prob the best game in the casino.....On the opening roll if a 12 don't pop there is no edge in dice....and I can overcome a 12 either way 36/1 coming out if you play boxes and hards then they will have a edge

But all those shows you see on tv that bj is a tiny house edge is bullshit lies....its a 12 percent game and that's a low number

Just think if you bust then the dealer busts you still lose....this happens too many times over 100 hands

proximity
08-12-2013, 06:21 PM
whizz could surrender that 16 up here at pen and start a harness show parlay with the remaining $7.50... :)

Saratoga_Mike
08-12-2013, 06:24 PM
Thask your crazy!!!!!!!!! It's the worst game in the house
Lamboguy is correct there are tons of bj tables for a reason....you can't play perfect and be close to even percentages...you can of they don't bury 70-90 cards.....you just can't

And baccarat being another low house edge game is bullshit....nobody wins in the game......I play and they stick me in a hole I always gotta get out of

Dice is prob the best game in the casino.....On the opening roll if a 12 don't pop there is no edge in dice....and I can overcome a 12 either way 36/1 coming out if you play boxes and hards then they will have a edge

But all those shows you see on tv that bj is a tiny house edge is bullshit lies....its a 12 percent game and that's a low number

Just think if you bust then the dealer busts you still lose....this happens too many times over 100 hands

No, he's right. Dice is the best game? You really need to study probabilities. And there are plenty of places to play double and even single deck blackjack - Tunica, MS, comes to mind.

wiffleball whizz
08-12-2013, 06:24 PM
whizz could surrender that 16 up here at pen and start a harness show parlay with the remaining $7.50... :)

In Foxwoods I surrendered like a moron all the time....15 against a 10 also 16 vs a 7

wiffleball whizz
08-12-2013, 06:26 PM
No, he's right. Dice is the best game? You really need to study probabilities. And there are plenty of places to play double and even single deck blackjack - Tunica, MS, comes to mind.

You guys can come over my house for casino night any time you want...."for fun only" I will have the best booze and anything else you want here....

Please please spare me the bj is a fair game speech.....it's only good if they don't bury the deck

traynor
08-12-2013, 06:43 PM
You guys can come over my house for casino night any time you want...."for fun only" I will have the best booze and anything else you want here....

Please please spare me the bj is a fair game speech.....it's only good if they don't bury the deck

With all the "advice" flying by (at least I think it is supposed to be advice), one wonders if anyone actually plays blackjack seriously, or whether their experience is all from reading and playing a few hands occasionally.

For starters, how many understand that "basic strategy" (and the associated disadvantages/advantages) is optimal ONLY until the first card is dealt? "Playing basic strategy" is not something that can be done on a long-term basis with the same percentages--yet pretty much everyone pretends that it is. Including the "gurus" who admonish the wannabes to "revert to basic strategy" whenever they lose the count. Or--even more foolishly--to sit down in the middle of a shoe and regard the cards that have gone before as "undealt"--because, after all, one has not seen them, so one should pretend they remain in play.

Blackjack is a great game, and can be profitable.

thaskalos
08-12-2013, 06:58 PM
With all the "advice" flying by (at least I think it is supposed to be advice), one wonders if anyone actually plays blackjack seriously, or whether their experience is all from reading and playing a few hands occasionally.

For starters, how many understand that "basic strategy" (and the associated disadvantages/advantages) is optimal ONLY until the first card is dealt? "Playing basic strategy" is not something that can be done on a long-term basis with the same percentages--yet pretty much everyone pretends that it is. Including the "gurus" who admonish the wannabes to "revert to basic strategy" whenever they lose the count. Or--even more foolishly--to sit down in the middle of a shoe and regard the cards that have gone before as "undealt"--because, after all, one has not seen them, so one should pretend they remain in play.

Blackjack is a great game, and can be profitable.

Would you consider James Grosjean a serious player...or is he just a "guru"?

Saratoga_Mike
08-12-2013, 07:36 PM
You guys can come over my house for casino night any time you want...."for fun only" I will have the best booze and anything else you want here....

Please please spare me the bj is a fair game speech.....it's only good if they don't bury the deck

Deal me double deck and I'll use a basic 10s and others counting strategy - over the course of time, you will go broke.

Valuist
08-12-2013, 07:42 PM
Here's the truth on blackjack and the house advantage:

http://wizardofodds.com/games/blackjack/calculator/

As for why there's so many tables, its because blackjack is a game everybody knows. Its about the simplest table game to play.

wiffleball whizz
08-12-2013, 07:47 PM
Deal me double deck and I'll use a basic 10s and others counting strategy - over the course of time, you will go broke.

Come on over!!!!!!!! And I'm burying 23 of the 104 cards

Dave Schwartz
08-12-2013, 08:19 PM
You guys can come over my house for casino night any time you want...."for fun only" I will have the best booze and anything else you want here....

Some years ago I did this at my house for like 8 people.

I had practiced with the cards for about a week to make it fun for them. (LOL And for me.)

I fashioned a BJ table top out of a rectangular sheet of plywood, tacked on some foam and a felt, and we were off and running. BTW, I put the table on two ironing boards. Worked like a charm. (The table would only seat 4 at a time and most people played standing up.)

Everyone got lots of checks (as we called them in the gaming biz) - starting with about $2,000 each. $2 minimum and $500 limit.

Anyway, I had a great time pumping up the worst players and taking down the best.

After about 90 minutes, I had broken them all, save for this one woman who barely knew how to play. Everyone was shocked and amazed at how this could have happened.

I said, "Well, I think I know how." At that point I took the deck, turned the top card face up, and proceeded to deal hit after hit without the top card moving. The people were just in hysterics over this.

This was the BJ I was introduced to when I was a young guy dealing BJ in Miami. Nobody was allowed to win unless the boss said they could.

BTW, this ironing board setup was they same one I used to practice with back in the 70s - except without the mirrors. LOL

BlueShoe
08-12-2013, 08:25 PM
Come on over!!!!!!!! And I'm burying 23 of the 104 cards
Interesting in that Wiff claims to know more about Blackjack probabilities than do all the computer analysis done which have played billions of hands going back more than half a century. That aside, by "burying 23 of the 104 cards", does that mean dealing a DD to slightly over 3/4 of the deck, 75% pen? If so, I should dust off my game and come on over. Was a serious player for over 20 years, but gradually lost interest in the 90's when the casino countermeasures no longer made the game worthwhile. Every once in a while will play a few hands using perfect basic stratagy, and try not to count, even after all these years the instinct is still there. :)

Dave Schwartz
08-12-2013, 08:46 PM
In fairness to Whiff, he spoke of a 12% "hold." In casino terms that used to mean that 12% of what went into the drop box became casino profit. (Perhaps he means something different; can't really speak for him.)

In other words, it is all about negative churn.

My opinion would be that BJ is a GREAT game in the hands of a trained (and practiced) player. Alas, most players only think they fall into that category.

The players who have read a book or practiced against software will still go out and get crushed, then wonder how that could happen.

When I played full time, I actually spent several days counting every dollar I wagered. After playing around 50 hours I determined that my advantage was 7/10s of 1%. The compounding (and money management) allowed me to turn that into a rather large pile of money.

Conversely, even a 1% disadvantage is fatal to a bankroll in the long run. In the world I lived in (in a galaxy far, far away, I think), the dishonest practices made that even worse. Most players, even highly accomplished ones, could not always sidestep the "bad" games. LOL - In the 70s we called those "lucky dealers."

wiffleball whizz
08-12-2013, 08:50 PM
Interesting in that Wiff claims to know more about Blackjack probabilities than do all the computer analysis done which have played billions of hands going back more than half a century. That aside, by "burying 23 of the 104 cards", does that mean dealing a DD to slightly over 3/4 of the deck, 75% pen? If so, I should dust off my game and come on over. Was a serious player for over 20 years, but gradually lost interest in the 90's when the casino countermeasures no longer made the game worthwhile. Every once in a while will play a few hands using perfect basic stratagy, and try not to count, even after all these years the instinct is still there. :)

No I Definitly domt know more then the computer whizzes......the game is a nightmare on elm street

Again im 20 min from laurel and there is a shoe in my house!!!!

ldiatone
08-12-2013, 09:18 PM
agree on the dice, but 1 deck black jack in vegas? but now, whats the payout is 6-5 instead of 2-1??,

wiffleball whizz
08-12-2013, 09:35 PM
In fairness to Whiff, he spoke of a 12% "hold." In casino terms that used to mean that 12% of what went into the drop box became casino profit. (Perhaps he means something different; can't really speak for him.)

In other words, it is all about negative churn.

My opinion would be that BJ is a GREAT game in the hands of a trained (and practiced) player. Alas, most players only think they fall into that category.

The players who have read a book or practiced against software will still go out and get crushed, then wonder how that could happen.

When I played full time, I actually spent several days counting every dollar I wagered. After playing around 50 hours I determined that my advantage was 7/10s of 1%. The compounding (and money management) allowed me to turn that into a rather large pile of money.

Conversely, even a 1% disadvantage is fatal to a bankroll in the long run. In the world I lived in (in a galaxy far, far away, I think), the dishonest practices made that even worse. Most players, even highly accomplished ones, could not always sidestep the "bad" games. LOL - In the 70s we called those "lucky dealers."

Great post Dave........your one of my favorite posters on here with your experience is different forms of gambling...

And yes the 12 percent hold was what they are keeping out of the drop...that's not any figure I've read just my opinion.....bj is such a house game when played wrong

This thread is just another example of my this forum is the best.....we can all debate our opinions....

BlueShoe
08-13-2013, 09:28 AM
agree on the dice, but 1 deck black jack in vegas? but now, whats the payout is 6-5 instead of 2-1??,
Single deck blackjack games that pay 6-5 for blackjacks rather than the traditional standard 3-2 is an abomination that no savvy player would ever play. It adds an extra 1.39% house advantage, a huge extra bite that no player, no matter how skilled, can overcome. The problem is that these games have spread all over the state of Nevada, and have almost become standard. A single deck game that pays 3-2 for naturals, has good rules and pen, with a low minimum bet has become virtually obsolete in the blackjack world. :(

At one time the Las Vegas Strip had the best BJ games on the planet, now it has many of the worst. There are still some 3-2 games, but they usually have very high minimum bets, $100 is common. The Nevada clubs that still have low limit SD games with 3-2 blackjacks, such as in Laughlin and Reno/Tahoe usually have bad rules, such as only permitting doubling on hard 10 and 11, and poor pen. Am not really up to date on current game conditions, but in my casual play the best choice now seems to be a double deck game with decent rules, but even these games have become hard to find.

Robert Goren
08-13-2013, 09:55 AM
Of course Blackjack is big money maker for the house. They bar the good players and keep sucking the money from the bad. It is a great game for the casino because players are so streaky in it . They win a bundle one night , lose it a week later, spend another 4 session trying to lucky. When they finally get lucky again, the cycle starts all over again. Most people who try to count cards get discouraged after about 3 hours and start looking to the sky for how to play.

horses4courses
08-13-2013, 10:04 AM
My opinion would be that BJ is a GREAT game in the hands of a trained (and practiced) player. Alas, most players only think they fall into that category.

I couldn't agree more with this.
Working as a surveillance agent, I watch many BJ players.
The above statement covers a large percentage of them.

People ask me "Do you catch many card counters?".
I answer " Yes, quite a few."
You might think that these people are shown the door. Not usually.
Their problem is generally money management, and that's why we can let them continue to play even though we know they are counting, and that they have a good grasp of basic strategy.
Many can't handle losing situations. When they get that inevitable back door beat holding a 20 (the dealer catching 21 after multiple hits), you can see smoke coming out their ears - and they start playing accordingly.
Discipline, or lack of it, is the difference between decent players and excellent ones.
In Tahoe, we have the added advantage as surveillance agents of being so quiet these days on the tables, that advantage players stick out pretty quickly. It's much easier for successful BJ players to blend in at a busy Las Vegas casino, or anywhere that's busy, than it is if you are one of the few playing black chips, or higher.

I can count down an 8-deck shoe with the best of them.
My knowledge of strategy is excellent.
Would I play BJ to supplement my income?
Under the right circumstances, I would answer yes.
Bankroll as a family provider, and my current profession, won't allow it.
Dave is right, though. It's a great game for a small minority.

Valuist
08-13-2013, 10:08 AM
Of course Blackjack is big money maker for the house. They bar the good players and keep sucking the money from the bad. It is a great game for the casino because players are so streaky in it . They win a bundle one night , lose it a week later, spend another 4 session trying to lucky. When they finally get lucky again, the cycle starts all over again. Most people who try to count cards get discouraged after about 3 hours and start looking to the sky for how to play.

Have to be patient. I started taking up blackjack late last year. I've only played in the casino six times. I don't crave the action of a casino so I can wait until I get very proficient. I can bet horses whenever I want. There's tools like Casino Verite which are great at casino simulation to practice counting cards, as well as basic strategy. I think you are giving way too much credit to the casinos. They don't WANT to bar players unless they really take a loss. In this day of Twitter and Yelp, its terrible publicity to bar players. If I ever get barred, I will absolutely tear them apart on Yelp.

But one thing is for sure; my competitors at the track are much sharper than most of the idiots at these BJ tables. Lots of ploppies. People believing in "the flow of the cards", or stupid stuff like blaming "bad players" for their loss. These idiots dont realize a bad player will help others as much as hurt them.

I also think blackjack sharpens one's betting skills in other areas. At the track, most of us probably make a few too many plays. We often don't differentiate enough between our strong plays and action plays. With counting cards, its black and white.

horses4courses
08-13-2013, 10:29 AM
In this day of Twitter and Yelp, its terrible publicity to bar players. If I ever get barred, I will absolutely tear them apart on Yelp.

True, but they won't lose much sleep over it.

Widespread criticism does occur on social media, but they are more concerned with hotel guests whose pillows weren't fluffy enough, or their shower water was too hot or cold, than they are about disgruntled table games players.

Now, if you're a good slots player, that's a whole different story...... ;)

Valuist
08-13-2013, 10:39 AM
True, but they won't lose much sleep over it.

Widespread criticism does occur on social media, but they are more concerned with hotel guests whose pillows weren't fluffy enough, or their shower water was too hot or cold, than they are about disgruntled table games players.

Now, if you're a good slots player, that's a whole different story...... ;)

Twitter and Yelp are relatively new, so even if they may not appear to care now, that doesn't mean they won't down the line. Twitter is only gaining in popularity (moreso, IMO, than Facebook).

I've heard casino management interviewed before and they've echoed some of what you said. They let plenty of counters play, as long as they aren't winning big sums. I don't know how many card counting teams are out there, but my guess is that would be a legitimate concern.

DeltaLover
08-13-2013, 10:43 AM
Card counting is not effective for eight deck games, as the profitable situations are extremely rare.

My understanding is that what is considered the most profitable approach when it comes to BJ is shuffle tracking, a skill that is related to visual observance talent rather than counting which is a strictly logical concept.

I am under the impression, that the constantly changing rules and regulations are converting a once beatable game to a negative expectation proposition similar to craps or baccarat.

Of course, this does not mean that basic strategy does not exist or it is not necessary.

It is beyond any doubt that a pair of eights should always be split; this decision is not a matter of opinion but a fact that we can prove mathematically. Although BJ might have a slightly negative EV if basic strategy is followed, it can be converted to the most expensive casino game if decisions depend on guessing and intuition.

Speaking strictly about minimizing the casino's edge, I think that the best bet is going to be in craps, taking the pass line plus maximum odds. Given that it is possible today to find 5X, 10X or even more, the take out is very small. Besides that, even in this nearly zero rake game, you are again a guaranteed looser assuming that you continue to bet for long enough periods.

Any casino game, including slots, craps, BJ, PAI-GO and everything else, should be avoided at any cost for the serious gambler.

Without cheating it is impossible to beat...

horses4courses
08-13-2013, 10:45 AM
Twitter and Yelp are relatively new, so even if they may not appear to care now, that doesn't mean they won't down the line. Twitter is only gaining in popularity (moreso, IMO, than Facebook).

I've heard casino management interviewed before and they've echoed some of what you said. They let plenty of counters play, as long as they aren't winning big sums. I don't know how many card counting teams are out there, but my guess is that would be a legitimate concern.

As far as the effect of social media on casinos goes, it's there already.
Marketing departments constantly monitor the feedback on there,
and when something nasty is said, upper management finds out about it quickly.
They do care. Just not as much about table games as some other areas.

horses4courses
08-13-2013, 11:20 AM
Card counting is not effective for eight deck games, as the profitable situations are extremely rare.

False.
This is where team play is most effective, but even an excellent counter playing solo,
who is prepared to grind it out for hours on end, can make it pay.

A shoe game where the true count rises to over +20, with less than a third of the cards remaining to be dealt,
is an excellent opportunity for the player.
Suddenly, that $10-25/hand grinder, is betting $500-1000(x3).
It's "show time" for him/her. In less than five minutes, he/she is walking a winner, or loser.
They are safe in the knowledge, though, that this is the time to bet big. They know that they have an edge now.
It will all likely happen before floor staff even notice.

This player may have been grinding for hours to get to this point.
Or, as a team member, may have tipped-off their "big money player" that this particular shoe was now ripe for plucking. Shoe games, typically, allow mid-deck entry for play. This is not the case on single, or double deck

DeltaLover
08-13-2013, 11:34 AM
False.
This is where team play is most effective, but even an excellent counter playing solo,
who is prepared to grind it out for hours on end, can make it pay.

A shoe game where the true count rises to over +20, with less than a third of the cards remaining to be dealt, is an excellent opportunity for the player.
Suddenly, that $10-25/hand grinder, is betting $500-1000(x3).
It's "show time" for him/her. In less than five minutes, he/she is walking a winner, or loser. They are safe in the knowledge, though, that this is the time to bet big. They know that they have an edge now. It will all likely happen before floor staff even notice.

This player may have been grinding for hours to get to this point.
Or, as a team member, may have tipped-off their "big money player" that this particular shoe was now ripe for plucking. Shoe games, typically, allow mid-deck entry for play. This is not the case on single, or double deck

- How often this +20 count is going to occur and to how large of an advantage does this translates? Are these cases enough to overcome the loses? Is the ultimate advantage large enough to eliminate the gambler's ruin effect? What is the mean and standard deviation of a winning strategy? How many hands you need to play to assure a win?

- Based in my experience when a $10 per hand player is raising his bets to $1,000 he immediately enters the spot light. If he really knows what he is doing he will find himself black listed, no casino will allow him to place even a $5 BJ bet in Vegas, or in AC the deck will be shuffled after a couple of hands are dealt.

Casinos know more about BJ than any aspiring pro and are doing a very good job protecting their advantage. The early days when Thorp or Uston were able to score huge, taking advantage of the ignorance of the casino are gone forever...

Valuist
08-13-2013, 11:49 AM
- How often this +20 count is going to occur and to how large of an advantage does this translates? Are these cases enough to overcome the loses? Is the ultimate advantage large enough to eliminate the gambler's ruin effect? What is the mean and standard deviation of a winning strategy? How many hands you need to play to assure a win?

- Based in my experience when a $10 per hand player is raising his bets to $1,000 he immediately enters the spot light. If he really knows what he is doing he will find himself black listed, no casino will allow him to place even a $5 BJ bet in Vegas, or in AC the deck will be shuffled after a couple of hands are dealt.

Casinos know more about BJ than any aspiring pro and are doing a very good job protecting their advantage. The early days when Thorp or Uston were able to score huge, taking advantage of the ignorance of the casino are gone forever...

It would be foolish to increase that quickly. That certainly would get the attention of casino management. From what I understand, the advanced card counting methods deal mostly with learning to sense heat, and avoid it. You can be the best counter in the world but it isn't any good if you are barred.

horses4courses
08-13-2013, 11:58 AM
- How often this +20 count is going to occur and to how large of an advantage does this translates? Are these cases enough to overcome the loses? Is the ultimate advantage large enough to eliminate the gambler's ruin effect? What is the mean and standard deviation of a winning strategy? How many hands you need to play to assure a win?

- Based in my experience when a $10 per hand player is raising his bets to $1,000 he immediately enters the spot light. If he really knows what he is doing he will find himself black listed, no casino will allow him to place even a $5 BJ bet in Vegas, or in AC the deck will be shuffled after a couple of hands are dealt.

Casinos know more about BJ than any aspiring pro and are doing a very good job protecting their advantage. The early days when Thorp or Uston were able to score huge, taking advantage of the ignorance of the casino are gone forever...

You're right....you will get noticed pretty quickly.
However, in the right situation you might avoid being backed-off if you play to those stakes for only a short time, and then leave. The bet variation is a bit extreme - sticking to less noticeable raises might help avoid detection.
Having to wait so long, though, for a "count rich" shoe means getting down what you can.
And, the more hands you can play in that situation (usually up to 3), the better.
Your worst case scenario here is that surveillance snaps your photo as you're leaving. You can play the chips in your pocket at another casino, or cash them out later. Even if you do get backed off, you haven't committed a crime.
You never have to identify yourself, unless you are trying to cash out more than $10K in chips in a 24 hour period.
Then they have the right to I/D you.

There is communication between casinos regarding the movements of advantage players. If you are unlucky, you might wind up on the network and have a hard time playing BJ anywhere. At that point, it's probably best to quit. ;)

horses4courses
08-13-2013, 12:14 PM
It would be foolish to increase that quickly. That certainly would get the attention of casino management. From what I understand, the advanced card counting methods deal mostly with learning to sense heat, and avoid it. You can be the best counter in the world but it isn't any good if you are barred.

You miss my point. We are talking about a 5-10 minute window here.
When, on the rare occasion, a shoe reaches that favorable situation,
it's time to bet as big as you can on as many hands as you can, and then walk.
There's another game down the street, and if they won't let you play, there's another casino town elsewhere.
If nobody wants your action, it's time to quit.

You can't expect to count cards at a table for prolonged periods, win money, and be allowed back another time.
The only players that might get away with that are playing $5 chips, and never come under scrutiny.
If you think you have an advanced system to beat the house at BJ,
the house probably has you beaten before you even sit down.

BlueShoe
08-13-2013, 12:18 PM
Working as a surveillance agent, I watch many BJ players.
The above statement covers a large percentage of them.

People ask me "Do you catch many card counters?".
I answer " Yes, quite a few."
You might think that these people are shown the door. Not usually.
Their problem is generally money management, and that's why we can let them continue to play even though we know they are counting, and that they have a good grasp of basic strategy.
My question is why bother? Not one of the SLT clubs is a good place to play. Not trying to sound sarcastic, but at your place the rules are so bad, 6-5 SD, poor pen and rules on 8D, that good counters don't bother. The yuppie geek types from the Bay Area may take a shot, but are hardly a threat to the bottom line. There is only one SLT club, as of my last visit in November, that has a SD 3-2 low limit game, and they sweat the game closely. So help me, the last time I played there, was only betting reds with a 1 to 3 spread, up only slightly, and I practically had the floorman sitting in my lap. :rolleyes: Lake Tahoe is a wonderful place to visit, which I do once a year, but not to play Blackjack. Which is why most of my time is spent in the racebook. :)

horses4courses
08-13-2013, 12:26 PM
My question is why bother? Not one of the SLT clubs is a good place to play. Not trying to sound sarcastic, but at your place the rules are so bad, 6-5 SD, poor pen and rules on 8D, that good counters don't bother. The yuppie geek types from the Bay Area may take a shot, but are hardly a threat to the bottom line. There is only one SLT club, as of my last visit in November, that has a SD 3-2 low limit game, and they sweat the game closely. So help me, the last time I played there, was only betting reds with a 1 to 3 spread, up only slightly, and I practically had the floorman sitting in my lap. :rolleyes: Lake Tahoe is a wonderful place to visit, which I do once a year, but not to play Blackjack. Which is why most of my time is spent in the racebook. :)

You're right on there.
Which is why I resemble the "Maytag Man" at work, quite often.
Spend much of my time putting video together for police,
after clowns get arrested for stupid stuff during a drunken nightclub spree. Geesh.... ;)

thaskalos
08-13-2013, 12:51 PM
I couldn't agree more with this.
Working as a surveillance agent, I watch many BJ players.
The above statement covers a large percentage of them.

People ask me "Do you catch many card counters?".
I answer " Yes, quite a few."
You might think that these people are shown the door. Not usually.
Their problem is generally money management, and that's why we can let them continue to play even though we know they are counting, and that they have a good grasp of basic strategy.
Many can't handle losing situations. When they get that inevitable back door beat holding a 20 (the dealer catching 21 after multiple hits), you can see smoke coming out their ears - and they start playing accordingly.
Discipline, or lack of it, is the difference between decent players and excellent ones.
In Tahoe, we have the added advantage as surveillance agents of being so quiet these days on the tables, that advantage players stick out pretty quickly. It's much easier for successful BJ players to blend in at a busy Las Vegas casino, or anywhere that's busy, than it is if you are one of the few playing black chips, or higher.

I can count down an 8-deck shoe with the best of them.
My knowledge of strategy is excellent.
Would I play BJ to supplement my income?
Under the right circumstances, I would answer yes.
Bankroll as a family provider, and my current profession, won't allow it.
Dave is right, though. It's a great game for a small minority.

Since you are a surveillance agent...please allow me to ask you a question:

If what Dave Schwartz said was right -- and it unquestionably is -- then why are the casinos so paranoid in their approach when dealing with card counters? So what if a tiny minority are capable of beating the game in a serious way; the vast majority of the counters who consider themselves proficient are simply not good enough in applying their supposed skill in a casino setting...and they cannot escape the ranks of the losers.

Why not just deal to the counters...and let the chips fall where they may? Just make sure that the betting spreads stay within acceptable limits, that's all. Don't you think the money that these "wannabe experts" stand to lose will more than make up for the money that the relatively few legitimate experts stand to win?

IMO...the casinos are missing the boat here. Blackjack is the most popular casino table game simply because of the notion that the game can be BEATEN...and the casinos are doing everything in their power to falsify that notion. THEY SHOULD BE FOSTERING IT INSTEAD! They don't need an edge against every single player out there in order to secure a healthy overall profit for themselves.

Can you imagine what would happen if the word suddenly came out of Las Vegas that the counters were free to play the game again...as long as they didn't get too greedy with their betting spreads? Every Tom, Dick and Harry who has ever attempted to count cards would suddenly flock to the casino while the liberal rules were still in effect...and the popularity of blackjack would skyrocket...along with the casino profits. Players are seldom as good as they think they are...and the money lost by the losers will always greatly outnumber the money won by the few legitimate experts. This law is so universal in its effect that it can practically be considered to be a law of nature.

There is no better advertisement for a gambling game than the belief that it can be BEATEN. If you are the casino, and you know the first thing about human nature...then you FOSTER that belief. You don't do everything in your power to falsify it.

Valuist
08-13-2013, 12:53 PM
You're right on there.
Which is why I resemble the "Maytag Man" at work, quite often.
Spend much of my time putting video together for police,
after clowns get arrested for stupid stuff during a drunken nightclub spree. Geesh.... ;)

H4C-

Which casino do you work at in Tahoe? Are there any good blackjack casinos in that area? I will be in that area next spring.

Great post by Thaskalos. 100% correct that letting the counters play (unless they spread too much) would be good publicity for the casinos.

horses4courses
08-13-2013, 01:08 PM
Since you are a surveillance agent...please allow me to ask you a question:

If what Dave Schwartz said was right -- and it unquestionably is -- then why are the casinos so paranoid in their approach when dealing with card counters? So what if a tiny minority are capable of beating the game in a serious way; the vast majority of the counters who consider themselves proficient are simply not good enough in applying their supposed skill in a casino setting...and they cannot escape the ranks of the losers.

Why not just deal to the counters...and let the chips fall where they may? Just make sure that the betting spreads stay within acceptable limits, that's all. Don't you think the money that these "wannabe experts" stand to lose will more than make up for the money that the relatively few legitimate experts stand to win?

IMO...the casinos are missing the boat here. Blackjack is the most popular casino table game simply because of the notion that the game can be BEATEN...and the casinos are doing everything in their power to falsify that notion. THEY SHOULD BE FOSTERING IT INSTEAD! They don't need an edge against every single player out there in order to secure a healthy overall profit for themselves.

Can you imagine what would happen if the word suddenly came out of Las Vegas that the counters were free to play the game again...as long as they didn't get too greedy with their betting spreads? Every Tom, Dick and Harry who has ever attempted to count cards would suddenly flock to the casino while the liberal rules were still in effect...and the popularity of blackjack would skyrocket...along with the casino profits. Players are seldom as good as they think they are...and the money lost by the losers will always greatly outnumber the money won by the few legitimate experts. This law is so universal in its effect that it can practically be considered to be a law of nature.

There is no better advertisement for a gambling game than the belief that it can be BEATEN. If you are the casino, and you know the first thing about human nature...then you FOSTER that belief. You don't do everything in your power to falsify it.

I think you are on to an excellent potential marketing tool for casinos.
Would it ever be adopted? Highly unlikely.

There are many factors at work here.
The corporate environment that the casino industry now finds itself in is probably the major one. When Nevada went Wall St., back in the 80s and 90s, the business changed. The bottom line number in all areas became much more important, with focus shifting to short term gain, rather than the big picture.

Given a well trained floor staff, and a knowledgeable surveillance team,
there is no way that a casino could fail in the long run by adopting your suggestion.
The reality is, though, that this doesn't exist at many casinos.
They prefer not to take chances, and will stay that way.

DeltaLover
08-13-2013, 01:11 PM
They prefer not to take chances, and will stay that way.

This is the reality and from what I can see the recipe seems to work...

horses4courses
08-13-2013, 01:17 PM
H4C-

Which casino do you work at in Tahoe? Are there any good blackjack casinos in that area? I will be in that area next spring.

Great post by Thaskalos. 100% correct that letting the counters play (unless they spread too much) would be good publicity for the casinos.

Like Blue Shoe said above, it's tough on the BJ player in Tahoe.
I think the only 3-2 single deck game he was referring to is at the Lakeside Inn but,
as I don't play anything but horses, I'm not certain.
Rest assured, if you vary your bets with the count, you won't last long.

I work at MontBleu (formerly Caesars).
PM me next spring, if you like.
Could always have a beer or a coffee, and introduce you to some of the locals in our race/sports books.
It's a beautiful part of the world up here :)

thaskalos
08-13-2013, 01:18 PM
They prefer not to take chances, and will stay that way.

How can you not take chances...and still claim to be in the "gambling" business?

Ahhh...how I long for the days when those "gambling" places actually gambled... :)

horses4courses
08-13-2013, 01:21 PM
How can you not take chances...and still claim to be in the "gambling" business?

Ahhh...how I long for the days when those "gambling" places actually gambled... :)

Ain't that the truth? ;)

wiffleball whizz
08-13-2013, 01:47 PM
Like Blue Shoe said above, it's tough on the BJ player in Tahoe.
I think the only 3-2 single deck game he was referring to is at the Lakeside Inn but,
as I don't play anything but horses, I'm not certain.
Rest assured, if you vary your bets with the count, you won't last long.

I work at MontBleu (formerly Caesars).
PM me next spring, if you like.
Could always have a beer or a coffee, and introduce you to some of the locals in our race/sports books.
It's a beautiful part of the world up here :)

I'm shocked you actually are allowed to tell people where you work....the gambling industry is being very deregulated....

You have to love what your doing if you work in surveillance...I couldn't do it as I like interacting with customers way to much...

Dave Schwartz
08-13-2013, 02:00 PM
How can you not take chances...and still claim to be in the "gambling" business?

LOL - Surprising, isn't it?

I recall a conversation I had with a floorman at Circus Circus Reno back in 1984. We were discussing why the casino had a tendency to run off anyone who was betting more than about $20.

He said, "When a player comes into the pit that we have to track, there are three things that can happen. He can win, he can lose, or he can break even."

I said, "Sure. So?"

He repeated himself: "There are three things that can happen. Two of them are bad. We'd just as soon have a casino full of $2 bettors that are incapable of beating us."

horses4courses
08-13-2013, 02:09 PM
I'm shocked you actually are allowed to tell people where you work....the gambling industry is being very deregulated....

You have to love what your doing if you work in surveillance...I couldn't do it as I like interacting with customers way to much...

I'm not permitted to discuss details of my job.
Generally speaking, though, it's not an issue.
There are only a handful of casinos on the lake with table games.
Where I work is not hard to figure out.

I am discouraged from socializing at work, and I don't.
Worked in race/sports for years - surveillance gave me a whole new perspective.
It's a good gig....except on the odd occasion when your work follows you home.

BlueShoe
08-13-2013, 02:26 PM
Were I an innovative casino manager, with no opposition from corporate superiors, I would bring back and reinstall the best blackjack game in North America, with the best rules:
Single deck.
Naturals pay 3-2.
Dealer stands on soft 17.
Double down on any first 2 cards.
Late surrender.
At least 3/4 of the deck dealt if sufficient cards remain to do so.

No way you say, the club would get clobbered by the hordes of experts that would descend in droves? No they would not, in fact, the opposite would happen, the game would be a big moneymaker, the tables would be jammed and it would be hard to get a seat. First of all, place a low minimum bet rule and a very low upper bet limit. $5-$200? $5-100? The full time expert pros need to wager blacks, not greens and reds. Next, what experts, and how much do they earn? The best players on the planet earn perhap 1% of their action, Dave earlier stated that his bottom line was .7% during his playing days.

The vast majority of blackjack players do not even play perfect basic strategy, so what chance do they have to perfect a counting game? If a good game were offered the ploppies would swarm to it and the wannabe counters would also. As we old hard nosed veterans know, it ain't that easy. Many, if not most that try counting wind up losing more than they would have flat betting and playing good BS.

With the prevalent corporate mindset, with the MBA type beancounters in charge of casino policy, what are the chances of good BJ games coming back? Not very good, imo, but we can always hope. We also hope to someday see 10% mutuel takout on wps bets and 12% on all exotics, but not holding my breath on that one either.

wiffleball whizz
08-13-2013, 02:32 PM
I'm not permitted to discuss details of my job.
Generally speaking, though, it's not an issue.
There are only a handful of casinos on the lake with table games.
Where I work is not hard to figure out.

I am discouraged from socializing at work, and I don't.
Worked in race/sports for years - surveillance gave me a whole new perspective.
It's a good gig....except on the odd occasion when your work follows you home.

Agree.....

wiffleball whizz
08-13-2013, 02:43 PM
Horses 4 courses a little off topic here but we just bid for shifts for the new poker room at Maryland live casino.....there were 5 dealers that came with the director from Florida they had 1-5 in seniority I was #6 basically had my choice of days off and shifts......I chose 10am sat and sun off.....that's priceless in the casino industry.....pretty sweet right?

traynor
08-13-2013, 03:43 PM
Since you are a surveillance agent...please allow me to ask you a question:

If what Dave Schwartz said was right -- and it unquestionably is -- then why are the casinos so paranoid in their approach when dealing with card counters? So what if a tiny minority are capable of beating the game in a serious way; the vast majority of the counters who consider themselves proficient are simply not good enough in applying their supposed skill in a casino setting...and they cannot escape the ranks of the losers.

Why not just deal to the counters...and let the chips fall where they may? Just make sure that the betting spreads stay within acceptable limits, that's all. Don't you think the money that these "wannabe experts" stand to lose will more than make up for the money that the relatively few legitimate experts stand to win?

IMO...the casinos are missing the boat here. Blackjack is the most popular casino table game simply because of the notion that the game can be BEATEN...and the casinos are doing everything in their power to falsify that notion. THEY SHOULD BE FOSTERING IT INSTEAD! They don't need an edge against every single player out there in order to secure a healthy overall profit for themselves.

Can you imagine what would happen if the word suddenly came out of Las Vegas that the counters were free to play the game again...as long as they didn't get too greedy with their betting spreads? Every Tom, Dick and Harry who has ever attempted to count cards would suddenly flock to the casino while the liberal rules were still in effect...and the popularity of blackjack would skyrocket...along with the casino profits. Players are seldom as good as they think they are...and the money lost by the losers will always greatly outnumber the money won by the few legitimate experts. This law is so universal in its effect that it can practically be considered to be a law of nature.

There is no better advertisement for a gambling game than the belief that it can be BEATEN. If you are the casino, and you know the first thing about human nature...then you FOSTER that belief. You don't do everything in your power to falsify it.

Every Tom, Dick, and Harry with fantasies of fame and fortune at the blackjack tables would realize they have been snookered all along into believing that all they need is a $14.95 book and a couple of hours practice at the kitchen table to Win Big. It is the "continual threat of being barred as a card counter" that keeps mediocre players shoveling money into the tills. Few things are as sweet (to the wannabes) as the taste of forbidden fruit. It is in the best (financial) interest of casinos to do everything they can to foster and bolster that belief.

In the real world, the percentage of (relatively highly skilled) solo card counters who can earn substantial amounts is microscopic. Many try. Most fail. Most of those who fail attribute the losses to "negative swings" rather than their own lack of skill. The same thing is true of most "blackjack teams."

Blackjack is beatable. Blackjack can be very profitable. On this topic I am 100% in agreement with Dave Schwartz (someone who quite obviously has been there and done that)--most "card counters" are just not good enough.

thaskalos
08-13-2013, 03:56 PM
Every Tom, Dick, and Harry with fantasies of fame and fortune at the blackjack tables would realize they have been snookered all along into believing that all they need is a $14.95 book and a couple of hours practice at the kitchen table to Win Big. It is the "continual threat of being barred as a card counter" that keeps mediocre players shoveling money into the tills. Few things are as sweet (to the wannabes) as the taste of forbidden fruit. It is in the best (financial) interest of casinos to do everything they can to foster and bolster that belief.

In the real world, the percentage of (relatively highly skilled) solo card counters who can earn substantial amounts is microscopic. Many try. Most fail. Most of those who fail attribute the losses to "negative swings" rather than their own lack of skill. The same thing is true of most "blackjack teams."

Blackjack is beatable. Blackjack can be very profitable. On this topic I am 100% in agreement with Dave Schwartz (someone who quite obviously has been there and done that)--most "card counters" are just not good enough.
You sometimes comment while quoting my posts...without me knowing whether or not you agree with them.

Valuist
08-13-2013, 04:07 PM
I'm guessing most of the card counters that aren't pros are like a lot of what we see at the track, and in the sportsbook. The racing handicapper who never watches replays, the football handicapper who thinks watching a lot of NFL games qualifies him to handicap the NFL, and the card counter who hasn't practiced enough to warrant a deep bet spread.

thaskalos
08-13-2013, 04:13 PM
I'm guessing most of the card counters that aren't pros are like a lot of what we see at the track, and in the sportsbook. The racing handicapper who never watches replays, the football handicapper who thinks watching a lot of NFL games qualifies him to handicap the NFL, and the card counter who hasn't practiced enough to warrant a deep bet spread.

I think most gamblers have no problem following their "systems", as long as things go as expected. It's when things start going wrong that the "problems" begin. :)

Having a workable system or method is one thing. Having the discipline and the confidence to follow it through thick and thin is something else entirely...

lansdale
08-13-2013, 04:57 PM
Any BJ players out there? For anyone thinking of learning card counting, I strongly recommend the Casino Verite software. Great way to practice without having to pay financial dues in a real casino.

Hi Valuist,

CVBJ is the gold standard of BJ practice software, universally admired in the BJ world, and used by many pros, including, at one time, the MIT team, if you're familiar with their exploits. Norm Wattenberger also offers a number of other very useful software products, depending on the extent of your interest in the game.

I have played both on teams and as a solo player for many years, and just to counter some of the misinformation about the game that appears in this thread (which is, after all, dedicated to horseracing), it is *by an order of magnitude*, a much easier way of making money than handicapping horses. Does that mean everyone can do it? Of course not. But for a serious, disciplined player who puts in the work, and has the requisite ability, it's very doable.

Assuming the player is able to count and make playing decision accurately, there are two reasons they haven't passed tests as team members: some couldn't screen out the distractions of the casino, some actually couldn't physically make max bets, even they knew they knew they were correct (and even though it wasn't their money). And usually these aspirants were otherwise bright, capable people. So, if you're capable of executing the first three of these (obviously the fourth doesn't apply to individual play), you should be successful.

Obviously, there's a great deal more to it than that, but if you're interested, I'd be happy to recommend some books or software tools.

Cheers,

lansdale

traynor
08-13-2013, 05:03 PM
You sometimes comment while quoting my posts...without me knowing whether or not you agree with them.

In this case, the comment would (most likely) be considered disagreement. Other than an "us against them" dichotomy in which anyone who walks out of a casino with money (like anyone who walks out of a used car lot with money) is considered "the enemy," I think the casinos are far more interested in perpetuating the belief that blackjack can be beaten than they are in barring counters.

Specifically, with anything other than someone making incredibly foolish plays coupled with blind luck, the short version is that it is way easier to spot "counters" by seeing who wins than by tracking their playing decisions. Since everyone is supposed to lose, anyone who wins must be a counter. One could be the best counter in the world and play just about anywhere--as long as one is losing.

lansdale
08-13-2013, 05:08 PM
I couldn't agree more with this.
Working as a surveillance agent, I watch many BJ players.
The above statement covers a large percentage of them.

People ask me "Do you catch many card counters?".
I answer " Yes, quite a few."
You might think that these people are shown the door. Not usually.
Their problem is generally money management, and that's why we can let them continue to play even though we know they are counting, and that they have a good grasp of basic strategy.
Many can't handle losing situations. When they get that inevitable back door beat holding a 20 (the dealer catching 21 after multiple hits), you can see smoke coming out their ears - and they start playing accordingly.
Discipline, or lack of it, is the difference between decent players and excellent ones.
In Tahoe, we have the added advantage as surveillance agents of being so quiet these days on the tables, that advantage players stick out pretty quickly. It's much easier for successful BJ players to blend in at a busy Las Vegas casino, or anywhere that's busy, than it is if you are one of the few playing black chips, or higher.

I can count down an 8-deck shoe with the best of them.
My knowledge of strategy is excellent.
Would I play BJ to supplement my income?
Under the right circumstances, I would answer yes.
Bankroll as a family provider, and my current profession, won't allow it.
Dave is right, though. It's a great game for a small minority.

horses,

Tahoe has offered nothing but worthless games for the serious or pro BJ player in the last twenty years, so your 'Maytag' reference is probably the most relevant. So who are these 'advantage players' you're backing off? Quarter players who got lucky? Surprised, spluttering civilians who get backed off as 'professional counters' by paranoid and ill-trained surveillance personnel are an endless source of amusement to real pro players.

Cheers,

lansdale

thaskalos
08-13-2013, 05:15 PM
In this case, the comment would (most likely) be considered disagreement. Other than an "us against them" dichotomy in which anyone who walks out of a casino with money (like anyone who walks out of a used car lot with money) is considered "the enemy," I think the casinos are far more interested in perpetuating the belief that blackjack can be beaten than they are in barring counters.

Specifically, with anything other than someone making incredibly foolish plays coupled with blind luck, the short version is that it is way easier to spot "counters" by seeing who wins than by tracking their playing decisions. Since everyone is supposed to lose, anyone who wins must be a counter. One could be the best counter in the world and play just about anywhere--as long as one is losing.

I'd like to believe you...but what you say here contradicts a direct experience of mine.

I was playing blackjack in Las Vegas 3 weeks ago...and a card counter seated right next to me was barred from playing even though he happened to be losing heavily at the time.

The conversation went something like this:

SUITS - "Sir...your game is a little too tough for us, and we cannot allow you to play blackjack here any longer. But please feel free to continue playing any of our other games."

COUNTER - "But I am losing about $2,500."

SUITS - "We know that, sir. And we'd like to keep it."

Valuist
08-13-2013, 05:15 PM
Hi Valuist,

CVBJ is the gold standard of BJ practice software, universally admired in the BJ world, and used by many pros, including, at one time, the MIT team, if you're familiar with their exploits. Norm Wattenberger also offers a number of other very useful software products, depending on the extent of your interest in the game.

I have played both on teams and as a solo player for many years, and just to counter some of the misinformation about the game that appears in this thread (which is, after all, dedicated to horseracing), it is *by an order of magnitude*, a much easier way of making money than handicapping horses. Does that mean everyone can do it? Of course not. But for a serious, disciplined player who puts in the work, and has the requisite ability, it's very doable.

Assuming the player is able to count and make playing decision accurately, there are two reasons they haven't passed tests as team members: some couldn't screen out the distractions of the casino, some actually couldn't physically make max bets, even they knew they knew they were correct (and even though it wasn't their money). And usually these aspirants were otherwise bright, capable people. So, if you're capable of executing the first three of these (obviously the fourth doesn't apply to individual play), you should be successful.

Obviously, there's a great deal more to it than that, but if you're interested, I'd be happy to recommend some books or software tools.

Cheers,

lansdale

I am familiar with the MIT team. I believe the Russian guy from the early 90s team helped design the CV software.

Definitely agree with your assertions. Not everybody can beat it, but I'd have to think a higher percentage could beat blackjack than the racetrack.

lansdale
08-13-2013, 05:22 PM
Card counting is not effective for eight deck games, as the profitable situations are extremely rare.

My understanding is that what is considered the most profitable approach when it comes to BJ is shuffle tracking, a skill that is related to visual observance talent rather than counting which is a strictly logical concept.

I am under the impression, that the constantly changing rules and regulations are converting a once beatable game to a negative expectation proposition similar to craps or baccarat.

Of course, this does not mean that basic strategy does not exist or it is not necessary.

It is beyond any doubt that a pair of eights should always be split; this decision is not a matter of opinion but a fact that we can prove mathematically. Although BJ might have a slightly negative EV if basic strategy is followed, it can be converted to the most expensive casino game if decisions depend on guessing and intuition.

Speaking strictly about minimizing the casino's edge, I think that the best bet is going to be in craps, taking the pass line plus maximum odds. Given that it is possible today to find 5X, 10X or even more, the take out is very small. Besides that, even in this nearly zero rake game, you are again a guaranteed looser assuming that you continue to bet for long enough periods.

Any casino game, including slots, craps, BJ, PAI-GO and everything else, should be avoided at any cost for the serious gambler.

Without cheating it is impossible to beat...

Hi DL,

I know you're a bright guy, but you clearly haven't invested much study in BJ or possibly you would be playing it. First, certainly an 8-deck game is no prize, but is still beatable, and, depending on penetration (cut card placement) is a better game than a badly-cut 6-deck game (the other most common option). The great advantage of both these shoe games is that they get very little heat from casino personnel.

Indeed, shuffle-tracking, although tricky, can be much more profitable than straight counting. The major drawback is that most casinos no longer offer trackable shuffles.

The rules and conditions have certainly gotten worse, and, if fact, most games are worthless to professional players, but playable games remain, especially outside the U.S..

Cheers,

lansdale

DeltaLover
08-13-2013, 05:34 PM
Hi DL,

I know you're a bright guy, but you clearly haven't invested much study in BJ or possibly you would be playing it. First, certainly an 8-deck game is no prize, but is still beatable, and, depending on penetration (cut card placement) is a better game than a badly-cut 6-deck game (the other most common option). The great advantage of both these shoe games is that they get very little heat from casino personnel.

Indeed, shuffle-tracking, although tricky, can be much more profitable than straight counting. The major drawback is that most casinos no longer offer trackable shuffles.

The rules and conditions have certainly gotten worse, and, if fact, most games are worthless to professional players, but playable games remain, especially outside the U.S..

Cheers,

lansdale


Certainly Black Jack is not my game. I still do not perfectly know basic strategy, setting aside its modifications based in the running count. Unfortunately I have blown a lot of $ betting BJ in the past. I have not played a single hand for at least seven years, so I admit I know little about the game.

I have never used CVBJ, but during the years I have written several BJ simulators since I am reluctant to accept what is written in the related books at face value..

Some of the books I have read about are Thorp's Beat the dealer, Revere's Playing BJ as a business (both outdated today), Blackjack Black Belt, KO, and the Theory Of Blackjack. I think KO and Black Belt looks are the most up to date although I found the theory of BJ very interesting besides the fact that is only about one decked games...

Again, just by reading books, I am under the impression, that without shuffle tracking (which I think is as loosely defined as the body language of the thoroughbred) you can not expect too much from today's game.

thaskalos
08-13-2013, 05:35 PM
Hi Valuist,

CVBJ is the gold standard of BJ practice software, universally admired in the BJ world, and used by many pros, including, at one time, the MIT team, if you're familiar with their exploits. Norm Wattenberger also offers a number of other very useful software products, depending on the extent of your interest in the game.

I have played both on teams and as a solo player for many years, and just to counter some of the misinformation about the game that appears in this thread (which is, after all, dedicated to horseracing), it is *by an order of magnitude*, a much easier way of making money than handicapping horses. Does that mean everyone can do it? Of course not. But for a serious, disciplined player who puts in the work, and has the requisite ability, it's very doable.

Assuming the player is able to count and make playing decision accurately, there are two reasons they haven't passed tests as team members: some couldn't screen out the distractions of the casino, some actually couldn't physically make max bets, even they knew they knew they were correct (and even though it wasn't their money). And usually these aspirants were otherwise bright, capable people. So, if you're capable of executing the first three of these (obviously the fourth doesn't apply to individual play), you should be successful.

Obviously, there's a great deal more to it than that, but if you're interested, I'd be happy to recommend some books or software tools .

Cheers,

lansdale

Hi, Lansdale,

I am an avid reader...and I would love to see your opinion on some of the blackjack books out there. :ThmbUp:

lansdale
08-13-2013, 05:44 PM
Since you are a surveillance agent...please allow me to ask you a question:

If what Dave Schwartz said was right -- and it unquestionably is -- then why are the casinos so paranoid in their approach when dealing with card counters? So what if a tiny minority are capable of beating the game in a serious way; the vast majority of the counters who consider themselves proficient are simply not good enough in applying their supposed skill in a casino setting...and they cannot escape the ranks of the losers.

Why not just deal to the counters...and let the chips fall where they may? Just make sure that the betting spreads stay within acceptable limits, that's all. Don't you think the money that these "wannabe experts" stand to lose will more than make up for the money that the relatively few legitimate experts stand to win?

IMO...the casinos are missing the boat here. Blackjack is the most popular casino table game simply because of the notion that the game can be BEATEN...and the casinos are doing everything in their power to falsify that notion. THEY SHOULD BE FOSTERING IT INSTEAD! They don't need an edge against every single player out there in order to secure a healthy overall profit for themselves.

Can you imagine what would happen if the word suddenly came out of Las Vegas that the counters were free to play the game again...as long as they didn't get too greedy with their betting spreads? Every Tom, Dick and Harry who has ever attempted to count cards would suddenly flock to the casino while the liberal rules were still in effect...and the popularity of blackjack would skyrocket...along with the casino profits. Players are seldom as good as they think they are...and the money lost by the losers will always greatly outnumber the money won by the few legitimate experts. This law is so universal in its effect that it can practically be considered to be a law of nature.

There is no better advertisement for a gambling game than the belief that it can be BEATEN. If you are the casino, and you know the first thing about human nature...then you FOSTER that belief. You don't do everything in your power to falsify it.

Hi thaskolos,

Even though I know you are more a poker than a blackjack players, you hit the bullseye here, as usual. Casino paranoia re the threat of pros players and teams to their bottom line is ludicrous. There are too few such players to be capable of denting the bottom line event slightly. This self-defeating stupidity is a staple conversational subject of pro players.

Cheers,

lansdale

Robert Goren
08-13-2013, 05:45 PM
I think the banning of card counters increases the number of the number of people who think they can beat the game. They think they can fool the casino.

traynor
08-13-2013, 05:53 PM
I'd like to believe you...but what you say here contradicts a direct experience of mine.

I was playing blackjack in Las Vegas 3 weeks ago...and a card counter seated right next to me was barred from playing even though he happened to be losing heavily at the time.

The conversation went something like this:

SUITS - "Sir...your game is a little too tough for us, and we cannot allow you to play blackjack here any longer. But please feel free to continue playing any of our other games."

COUNTER - "But I am losing about $2,500."

SUITS - "We know that, sir. And we'd like to keep it."

First, my immediate question (if I were in your shoes) would be, "Is what is happening really what I think is happening?" It would not be the first (or only) time a shill has been "barred." Specifically, is the counter in question of your acquaintance, and do you know for a fact that he was down for the series (rather than just the session)?

Second, given the number of blackjack tables in Las Vegas, it does not seem cause for concern. There may have been other factors involved (those darn ubiquitous confounding variables) than you were aware of that precipitated the response. Sneering at a pit boss who is in a bad mood, for example, is a quick way to get "barred as a counter." Or doing something that offends or upsets a high roller that the casino wants pampered and cajoled into paying the electric bill.

In casinos--just as in horse racing--things are not always as they seem superficially to be.

lansdale
08-13-2013, 06:12 PM
I am familiar with the MIT team. I believe the Russian guy from the early 90s team helped design the CV software.

Definitely agree with your assertions. Not everybody can beat it, but I'd have to think a higher percentage could beat blackjack than the racetrack.

Both Semyon Dukach of the MIT team and pro player/software developer Norm Wattenberger are brilliant guys, but Dukach had no role in the creation of CVBJ or any of the qfit software. In fact, the MIT guys created their own sim and training software, which certainly worked well enough for their purposes, initially. But after CVBJ came out, Dukach and the team manager found it better than their software, and made the switch to CVBJ.

BTW, if you've seen the movie '21' which is supposedly based on the MIT teams activities, I'm hoping you know that it's pretty far from reality. Constant winning and coke-fueled partying with strippers happens, but most of the time the game is a hard, disciplined, grind.

Cheers,

lansdale

lansdale
08-13-2013, 06:23 PM
Hi, Lansdale,

I am an avid reader...and I would love to see your opinion on some of the blackjack books out there. :ThmbUp:

Hi thask,

Not sure what you're looking for, there are a number of good and bad books out there, but the two I'd recommend to anyone as basic, both of which are considered as bibles by pro players are 'Professional Blackjack', by Stanford Wong, and 'Blackjack Attack:3rd Edition', by Don Schlesinger. Those unfamiliar with BJ might start with the first book, and then move on to the second, which is more technical, and for more experienced players. Neither is new, but then understanding of the game is pretty close to complete at this point. The real developments of the last decade or so have been in software, much of which have come from Norm Wattenberger, e.g. 'Casino Verite', with which we began this thread.

If you want to mention some titles, I'd be happy to comment on those that I know.



Cheers,

lansdale

wiffleball whizz
08-13-2013, 06:34 PM
If they are burying 70-100 cards counting means Zero.....70 of the 100 cards can be faces......true story

lansdale
08-13-2013, 06:49 PM
Certainly Black Jack is not my game. I still do not perfectly know basic strategy, setting aside its modifications based in the running count. Unfortunately I have blown a lot of $ betting BJ in the past. I have not played a single hand for at least seven years, so I admit I know little about the game.

I have never used CVBJ, but during the years I have written several BJ simulators since I am reluctant to accept what is written in the related books at face value..

Some of the books I have read about are Thorp's Beat the dealer, Revere's Playing BJ as a business (both outdated today), Blackjack Black Belt, KO, and the Theory Of Blackjack. I think KO and Black Belt looks are the most up to date although I found the theory of BJ very interesting besides the fact that is only about one decked games...

Again, just by reading books, I am under the impression, that without shuffle tracking (which I think is as loosely defined as the body language of the thoroughbred) you can not expect too much from today's game.

DL,

I wouldn't underestimate the difficulty of any professional gambling, but the situation is somewhat better than what you represent. You are correct about the out-of-date books, and Griffin's book, although the foremost exposition of the mathematics of the game is irrelevant for actual play. However, one of the co-authors of KO, Olaf Vancura, who taught at Harvard, was FOF and has certainly used it to make decent money, and I know at least a couple of pros how use it to make their living.

As I said elsewhere in this thread, although rules and conditions in the U.S. are worse than in the past, and most games are unplayable for serious players, profitable games and occasional conditions still exist. Since you've mentioned you're not a U.S. national, I should add that most of the best games now are outside the U.S. (and also Europe, a BJ dead zone), so it's possible you're in the vicinity of much better games than I am at this moment.

BTW, why are you surprised that you blew money on BJ if you didn't even know basic strategy, much less how to count? I guarantee that, given your math background, if you concentrated on this game, you would do well.

I usually advise most people interested in counting not to see the movie '21', since it's so highly glamorized, but in your case, I would advise you to see it for motivation.

Cheers,

lansdale

thaskalos
08-13-2013, 07:11 PM
Hi thask,

Not sure what you're looking for, there are a number of good and bad books out there, but the two I'd recommend to anyone as basic, both of which are considered as bibles by pro players are 'Professional Blackjack', by Stanford Wong, and 'Blackjack Attack:3rd Edition', by Don Schlesinger. Those unfamiliar with BJ might start with the first book, and then move on to the second, which is more technical, and for more experienced players. Neither is new, but then understanding of the game is pretty close to complete at this point. The real developments of the last decade or so have been in software, much of which have come from Norm Wattenberger, e.g. 'Casino Verite', with which we began this thread.

If you want to mention some titles, I'd be happy to comment on those that I know.



Cheers,

lansdale
Hi Lansdale,

I don't play much blackjack, but I have a mania for gambling in general...and I have a vast gambling library at home. I have read the "bibles" of blackjack from the likes of Wong, Uston, Thorp, Revere, Humble...etc.

I am most interested in your opinion on the newer authors who seem to be making the most extravagant claims about the effectiveness or the simplicity of their systems. Books like:

KNOCK-OUT BLACKJACK...by Olaf Vancura
BLACKJACK FOR BLOOD...by Bryce Carlson

and even:

BURNING THE TABLES IN LAS VEGAS...by Ian Anderson

Are these authors legitimate, well-respected players within the blackjack community...or are their exploits largely exaggerated?

Magister Ludi
08-13-2013, 07:35 PM
KNOCK-OUT BLACKJACK...by Olaf Vancura


I would highly recommend this count system above all others. For power and simplicity, you can't beat it. I used to play several high betting correlation (bc) count systems - Thorp Ultimate (whew), Uston APC, Wong Halves, and KO. Uston APC and KO have the same betting correlation (bc) (.977). Thorp Ultimate and Wong halves have higher bc's (1.00 and .992 respectively), but are far more difficult to learn.

horses4courses
08-13-2013, 07:45 PM
Horses 4 courses a little off topic here but we just bid for shifts for the new poker room at Maryland live casino.....there were 5 dealers that came with the director from Florida they had 1-5 in seniority I was #6 basically had my choice of days off and shifts......I chose 10am sat and sun off.....that's priceless in the casino industry.....pretty sweet right?

You're right, wiff.
Saturdays thru Mondays are the most sought after days off in our business.
The upstairs accounting, marketing people, nearly always have Sat/Sun.
If you're on the floor, or even indirectly involved with the casino, you can forget about Saturdays off.
You usually have to have a little pull to get any days Sat-Mon.
Looks like you landed on your feet there...... :ThmbUp:

Valuist
08-13-2013, 07:47 PM
BTW, if you've seen the movie '21' which is supposedly based on the MIT teams activities, I'm hoping you know that it's pretty far from reality. Constant winning and coke-fueled partying with strippers happens, but most of the time the game is a hard, disciplined, grind.

Cheers,

lansdale

Absolutely. Typical Hollywood; altering reality. This clip sums up some of the falsities in the movie:

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=c8di2N1MDBc

Are you familiar with the book "Blackjack Blueprint"?

horses4courses
08-13-2013, 07:51 PM
horses,

Tahoe has offered nothing but worthless games for the serious or pro BJ player in the last twenty years, so your 'Maytag' reference is probably the most relevant. So who are these 'advantage players' you're backing off? Quarter players who got lucky? Surprised, spluttering civilians who get backed off as 'professional counters' by paranoid and ill-trained surveillance personnel are an endless source of amusement to real pro players.

Cheers,

lansdale

We're definitely not as busy as we used to be, for a variety of reasons.

wiffleball whizz
08-13-2013, 07:57 PM
You're right, wiff.
Saturdays thru Mondays are the most sought after days off in our business.
The upstairs accounting, marketing people, nearly always have Sat/Sun.
If you're on the floor, or even indirectly involved with the casino, you can forget about Saturdays off.
You usually have to have a little pull to get any days Sat-Mon.
Looks like you landed on your feet there...... :ThmbUp:

Yeah I caught a break I guess......when I worked in Connecticut my days off were thur and fri.....90 percent of the time I made more on Monday or tue then I did on sat night.......and the way I look at it if I ever wanna work a Saturday they would be lined around the corner to have a Saturday off

People telling me I was stupid for having off Saturday's.....what morons they are non stop stiffs on weekends and there are important Saturdays

College football 15 Saturdays a year
Triple crown races
Weddings
Anybody else I meet will prob have off sat Sundays

Sunday's nfl obviously
Final rounds of majors

And working at 10am I got every night to myself.....it's priceless.....

lansdale
08-14-2013, 12:04 AM
Hi Lansdale,

I don't play much blackjack, but I have a mania for gambling in general...and I have a vast gambling library at home. I have read the "bibles" of blackjack from the likes of Wong, Uston, Thorp, Revere, Humble...etc.

I am most interested in your opinion on the newer authors who seem to be making the most extravagant claims about the effectiveness or the simplicity of their systems. Books like:

KNOCK-OUT BLACKJACK...by Olaf Vancura
BLACKJACK FOR BLOOD...by Bryce Carlson

and even:

BURNING THE TABLES IN LAS VEGAS...by Ian Anderson

Are these authors legitimate, well-respected players within the blackjack community...or are their exploits largely exaggerated?

Hi Thask,

Of the books you listed first, I call Wong's a bible, not only because it's an excellent book, because it remains a reference point for pro players, and his Hi-Lo remains the count system of choice for most of them. The work of the others, although historically important, is outdated in the context of today's game.

'Blackjack for Blood' is certainly an excellent book, and Bryce's Omega-II, an excellent count, but as Magister Ludi rightly says in this thread, level-two counts like the Omega-II (and Humble's High-Opt II) are really unnecessary and overrated in relation to the effort they require.

Although Bryce has some great stories about his career as a high stakes player, the book came out, I believe, in the early '90s, when conditions were considerably better than now, so the quality of games and casino conditions he describes are no longer accurate. However, Bryce is a charming guy as well as a talented player (a characteristic of many high-stakes pros) and his personality is infectious enough to make this a very entertaining read.

'Burning the Tables...', although now a decade old, provides what is still a very accurate picture of what it takes to win as a high-stakes blackjack pro. For those who aspire to this level of play, or those who are already there, but could use some advice on casino comportment, and how to maintain longevity via cheap cover play and psychological ploys, Andersen is the ultimate guru. To get an idea of what Andersen is like, which suggests much of what he recommends, imagine someone with the schmoozing skills of Bill Clinton combined with superior blackjack skill.

BTW, both of these authors are well-vetted pros, although I'm not sure how active Carlson has been for the past five or six years. Andersen has been a well-known figure on the pro scene for nearly four decades, and as further prove of his cred, the introduction to 'Burning' was written by Stanford Wong.

Cheers,

lansdale

lansdale
08-14-2013, 12:15 AM
Hi Lansdale,

I don't play much blackjack, but I have a mania for gambling in general...and I have a vast gambling library at home. I have read the "bibles" of blackjack from the likes of Wong, Uston, Thorp, Revere, Humble...etc.

I am most interested in your opinion on the newer authors who seem to be making the most extravagant claims about the effectiveness or the simplicity of their systems. Books like:

KNOCK-OUT BLACKJACK...by Olaf Vancura
BLACKJACK FOR BLOOD...by Bryce Carlson

and even:

BURNING THE TABLES IN LAS VEGAS...by Ian Anderson

Are these authors legitimate, well-respected players within the blackjack community...or are their exploits largely exaggerated?

Almost forgot to mention this one. As I said in another thread, Vancura was a professional colleague of a friend, and although he has certainly made money playing Knock Out, neither he nor Fuchs had aspirations as pro players. However, as I said, the system is used by some pros, who like it for its unique combination of simplicity and power. For those who are annoyed by or have trouble with true-count conversion, an unbalanced count like KO is an ideal solution to their problems.

lansdale
08-14-2013, 12:18 AM
If they are burying 70-100 cards counting means Zero.....70 of the 100 cards can be faces......true story

WW,

If backcounting is allowed this game can still be beaten.

Cheers,

lansdale

lansdale
08-14-2013, 12:36 AM
I would highly recommend this count system above all others. For power and simplicity, you can't beat it. I used to play several high betting correlation (bc) count systems - Thorp Ultimate (whew), Uston APC, Wong Halves, and KO. Uston APC and KO have the same betting correlation (bc) (.977). Thorp Ultimate and Wong halves have higher bc's (1.00 and .992 respectively), but are far more difficult to learn.

Hi ML,

.... as usual. As you say, betting correlation is far more important than playing correlation, especially in shoe games, which most people are likely to be playing most of the time these days. Thask mentioned Andersen's 'Burning the Tables...', which, as you probably know, has a full chapter devoted to this subject, titled 'Keep It Simple Stupid'. Even for those who have mastered these counts, they become more difficult to maintain after many hours of play due to fatigue, often resulting in errors.

Cheers,

lansdale

thaskalos
08-14-2013, 12:44 AM
Hi Thask,

Of the books you listed first, I call Wong's a bible, not only because it's an excellent book, because it remains a reference point for pro players, and his Hi-Lo remains the count system of choice for most of them. The work of the others, although historically important, is outdated in the context of today's game.

'Blackjack for Blood' is certainly an excellent book, and Bryce's Omega-II, an excellent count, but as Magister Ludi rightly says in this thread, level-two counts like the Omega-II (and Humble's High-Opt II) are really unnecessary and overrated in relation to the effort they require.

Although Bryce has some great stories about his career as a high stakes player, the book came out, I believe, in the early '90s, when conditions were considerably better than now, so the quality of games and casino conditions he describes are no longer accurate. However, Bryce is a charming guy as well as a talented player (a characteristic of many high-stakes pros) and his personality is infectious enough to make this a very entertaining read.

'Burning the Tables...', although now a decade old, provides what is still a very accurate picture of what it takes to win as a high-stakes blackjack pro. For those who aspire to this level of play, or those who are already there, but could use some advice on casino comportment, and how to maintain longevity via cheap cover play and psychological ploys, Andersen is the ultimate guru. To get an idea of what Andersen is like, which suggests much of what he recommends, imagine someone with the schmoozing skills of Bill Clinton combined with superior blackjack skill.

BTW, both of these authors are well-vetted pros, although I'm not sure how active Carlson has been for the past five or six years. Andersen has been a well-known figure on the pro scene for nearly four decades, and as further prove of his cred, the introduction to 'Burning' was written by Stanford Wong.

Cheers,

lansdale

Thank you, lansdale...I very much appreciate your thoughtful reply. At the risk of trying your patience, I would like to ask you one more question. :)

Even though I have had a passion for horse racing for 30 years, and have played the game at a high level...I am reluctant to recommend the game to new players who seek my advice...because I do not consider the current version of it to be particularly desirable, from a profit-making point of view.

What would you tell a promising beginning player, who seeks your advice on the profit potential of blackjack as it's currently spread?

I admit that I have selfish motives for asking this question. With horse racing continuing down its current path...I might soon be in need of another game to play.

lansdale
08-14-2013, 12:46 AM
We're definitely not as busy as we used to be, for a variety of reasons.

Hi horses,

Certainly the recession has been the main cause of the downturn in gambling everywhere, but even moreso in tourist locations like Tahoe or Vegas, which aren't near large population centers and thus, require travel. My comments about the bad BJ rules and conditions in Tahoe (Vegas is also terrible now) have nothing to do with how the casino business is faring. 99% of the public understands nothing about the games and will play whatever is there. When and if the economy picks up, the crowds will return.

But as I and others have said in this thread, its extremely counterproductive for the casino to sweat the action of people who are incapable of beating the game long-term. If you're familiar with the work Bill Zender, probably the most enlightened person ever to work for a casino, you have to agree that this is true.

Cheers,

lansdale

lansdale
08-14-2013, 01:52 AM
Thank you, lansdale...I very much appreciate your thoughtful reply. At the risk of trying your patience, I would like to ask you one more question. :)

Even though I have had a passion for horse racing for 30 years, and have played the game at a high level...I am reluctant to recommend the game to new players who seek my advice...because I do not consider the current version of it to be particularly desirable, from a profit-making point of view.

What would you tell a promising beginning player, who seeks your advice on the profit potential of blackjack as it's currently spread?

I admit that I have selfish motives for asking this question. With horse racing continuing down its current path...I might soon be in need of another game to play.

Hi Thask,

This is a surprising and very serious question - one which requires some serious thought to answer. Since it is late now, let me take some time to give it some thought and I will try to answer tomorrow.

Best,

lansdale

BlueShoe
08-14-2013, 02:21 AM
I used to play several high betting correlation (bc) count systems - Thorp Ultimate (whew), Uston APC, Wong Halves, and KO. Uston APC and KO have the same betting correlation (bc) (.977). Thorp Ultimate and Wong halves have higher bc's (1.00 and .992 respectively), but are far more difficult to learn.
Very early in my card counting experience put aside ego and grasped the concept that all good players know, in that it is far better to play a simple less efficient system well than it is to play a more complex slightly more efficient system poorly. That being so, I wisely stuck with a very basic level I system, the good old Dubner Hi Low, played pitch games, not shoes, and got good at it. Later on latched on to Snyder's Hi Lo Lite to make it easier still. Were I to go back to serious playing again, might try the KO or Red Seven, like the idea of not having to convert to the TC, and my abilities are simply not good enough to use a level 2 or higher method well.

traynor
08-14-2013, 09:13 AM
Very early in my card counting experience put aside ego and grasped the concept that all good players know, in that it is far better to play a simple less efficient system well than it is to play a more complex slightly more efficient system poorly. That being so, I wisely stuck with a very basic level I system, the good old Dubner Hi Low, played pitch games, not shoes, and got good at it. Later on latched on to Snyder's Hi Lo Lite to make it easier still. Were I to go back to serious playing again, might try the KO or Red Seven, like the idea of not having to convert to the TC, and my abilities are simply not good enough to use a level 2 or higher method well.

It is probably the effect of so many writing about the topic of blackjack, but it seems the writers all advocate simple systems (based on very large and generally unsustainble bet variations), while the actual bettors tend to use the more complex systems (with lower betting spreads--unless playing in teams).

It seems people want to believe that not only is blackjack easily beaten, but it is easily beaten with a (relatively) simple count and decision matrix. I think if one is considering serious blackjack play, it is worthwhile to invest the time and effort into mastering at least a level two system, and most likely, a level three system. Arguments that "a simple high-low count is all that is needed" should be taken with a grain of salt, and a VERY careful analysis of the assumptions on which such arguments are based.

That is not a "position statement." It is a caveat. If one accepts the premises of the various writers that fortune and glory are no further away than a few hours learning a simple count and a seat at the next blackjack table, one should ask one's self, "Hey, self, how come almost no one is actually doing this in the real world? And if it is so easy, why isn't everyone doing it?"

Blackjack is a great game. Blackjack can be highly profitable. Blackjack--played tightly with a simple high-low count--can provide many hours of casino adventure, excitement, and wagering at little or no cost, and the possibility of a modest profit.

If one is intent on profit, one might do well to consider that the advantages of a more complex system far outweigh the disadvantages. If one is beating the bushes for tigers, one should be armed with more than a willow switch.

Trivia for the blackjack trivia folk: A (noted) blackjack author referred to two pseudonyms for two people he considered essentially charlatans that could not profitably use the sytems they advocated, and hence wrote about doing rather than doing. One was labeled "Hans Christian"--no doubt after the great teller of fairy tales. The other was labeled Long Hong (or something similar). Anyone know who the writer was, and who the two characters were that he was writing about?

Valuist
08-14-2013, 09:35 AM
I think the banning of card counters increases the number of the number of people who think they can beat the game. They think they can fool the casino.

Not sure I understand your logic. Why would banning advantage players draw anybody, pro or ploppie, to the tables?

Valuist
08-14-2013, 09:42 AM
Before we spend more time ripping on blackjack, lets not forget the huge house advantage we go up against at the track, or in a sportsbook. As time goes on, no doubt in my mind racing is a much tougher game to beat than it was 15 years ago. And as for the sportsbook, see my thread in the Sports forum about the Fezzik NFL challenge. He's willing to bet anybody, save possibly Billy Walters, between $10k and $100k that they cannot top his 57% ATS record accomplished over the past few years in the Supercontest. So far no takers for Fezzik's challenge.

traynor
08-14-2013, 10:25 AM
Not sure I understand your logic. Why would banning advantage players draw anybody, pro or ploppie, to the tables?

As long as one believes in the pot of gold, one is motivated to chase rainbows. When one realizes the pot is filled with fool's gold, the pursuit of rainbows becomes a foolish endeavor.

Consider it the equivalent of progressive algorithms that change the rules on the fly to make sure no one wins. Once one understands how they work (and where) "playing the game" takes a bit of a Quixotian spin.

If one reads about (or "sees") counters being banned, it perpetuates the pot of gold schema. If there were no pot of gold, there would be no counters, and no need to "bar" them. Casino Marketing 101.

Robert Goren
08-14-2013, 10:26 AM
Not sure I understand your logic. Why would banning advantage players draw anybody, pro or ploppie, to the tables? Because it is telling everyone that the game can be beat easily(which it can't) and basically all you have to do is move from casino to another and/or disguise yourself very well to make money. Banning a big time player with lots of fanfare will draw a lot of small time wantabe counters who believe they can fly under the radar. Almost all of them will be losers. The few who are winners will be easily caught and given the boot. Throp was the best thing that ever happen to casino blackjack profits. I played Blackjack as a part time hobby around 1990 and made a little money, very little. The game is very hard to beat and took a lot work. I figure out when I quit I averaged about a quarter an hour. Every time somebody starts a blackjack thread, I get the itch, but it goes away in 90 seconds. Horses are easier and a lot more fun.

traynor
08-14-2013, 10:33 AM
The use of CVBJ (or an equivalent professional trainer software), both to initially learn and then to continually improve one's playing skills, should be mandatory for anyone who expects to make money playing blackjack.

Valuist
08-14-2013, 10:34 AM
Because it is telling everyone that the game can be beat easily(which it can't) and basically all you have to do is move from casino to another and/or disguise yourself very well to make money. Banning a big time player with lots of fanfare will draw a lot of small time wantabe counters who believe they can fly under the radar. Almost all of them will be losers. The few who are winners will be easily caught and given the boot. Throp was the best thing that ever happen to casino blackjack profits. I played Blackjack as a part time hobby around 1990 and made a little money, very little. The game is very hard to beat and took a lot work. I figure out when I quit I averaged about a quarter an hour. Every time somebody starts a blackjack thread, I get the itch, but it goes away in 90 seconds. Horses are easier and a lot more fun.

Horses are more fun. I have had many profitable years in racing since 1988 (although none since 2008) but I don't like the way that trend is going. I am not at expert level in blackjack so its a bit of an apples and oranges comparison for me.

Having said that, I view banning much differently. Banning = hassle. Big hassle. Casual fans see movies like Rain Man or 21 and are under the (mistaken) impression that one has to be a genius to count cards. Maybe I'm wrong, but I don't believe they are out to kick out everyone who takes them for a thousand or two.

I don't doubt your assertion that it is a hard game to beat. But what games aren't? Professional sports bettors spend 10-14 hours a day working at it. Professional horse bettors spend hours away from the track going thru replays and charts. Anyone who is looking for "easy" money in gambling is looking in the wrong place.

Valuist
08-14-2013, 10:40 AM
Lansdale-

Do many places offer comps for blackjack or is that only for other table games and slots?

traynor
08-14-2013, 10:42 AM
Because it is telling everyone that the game can be beat easily(which it can't) and basically all you have to do is move from casino to another and/or disguise yourself very well to make money. Banning a big time player with lots of fanfare will draw a lot of small time wantabe counters who believe they can fly under the radar. Almost all of them will be losers. The few who are winners will be easily caught and given the boot. Throp was the best thing that ever happen to casino blackjack profits. I played Blackjack as a part time hobby around 1990 and made a little money, very little. The game is very hard to beat and took a lot work. I figure out when I quit I averaged about a quarter an hour. Every time somebody starts a blackjack thread, I get the itch, but it goes away in 90 seconds. Horses are easier and a lot more fun.

That is what makes it so good for the few who are actually willing to invest the time and effort necessary to learn how to play it well. Using a cost/benefit analysis, it has to be pretty much full-time, total immersion, practice every day, blah blah blah, to develop and maintain the level of skill needed to win significant amounts.

Flipping off to AC or Vegas for an occasional weekend jaunt with a simplistic high-low count and grammar-school level decision matrix doesn't work too well. The bottom line is that it takes more work than most people are willing to do--including most of those who fancy themselves "card counters" or "blackjack professionals."

Valuist
08-14-2013, 10:56 AM
I think there's quite a few people who THINK they play basic strategy correctly and don't. It took me several months of practicing about a half hour a day, 4-5 times a week to get to around 99% accuracy on basic strategy. Then I was talking to a friend who said he and his wife knew basic strategy like the back of their hand. We went to the casino and I could see fairly quickly that both didn't have the grasp of it that they thought they did.

Robert Goren
08-14-2013, 11:49 AM
That is what makes it so good for the few who are actually willing to invest the time and effort necessary to learn how to play it well. Using a cost/benefit analysis, it has to be pretty much full-time, total immersion, practice every day, blah blah blah, to develop and maintain the level of skill needed to win significant amounts.

Flipping off to AC or Vegas for an occasional weekend jaunt with a simplistic high-low count and grammar-school level decision matrix doesn't work too well. The bottom line is that it takes more work than most people are willing to do--including most of those who fancy themselves "card counters" or "blackjack professionals."And just about the time you get really good, your name magically appears in the "Griffin Book". Full timers don't have chance either. That is the bottom line in Blackjack today.

wiffleball whizz
08-14-2013, 11:52 AM
I think there's quite a few people who THINK they play basic strategy correctly and don't. It took me several months of practicing about a half hour a day, 4-5 times a week to get to around 99% accuracy on basic strategy. Then I was talking to a friend who said he and his wife knew basic strategy like the back of their hand. We went to the casino and I could see fairly quickly that both didn't have the grasp of it that they thought they did.

People think that staying against a 6 is basic strategy

When a dealer has a 5 or 6 up I do whatever I can to get as much money on the layout as possible.....splitting 4s 5s 6s etc etcetc

I dont play anymore though terrible game

lansdale
08-14-2013, 12:56 PM
Thank you, lansdale...I very much appreciate your thoughtful reply. At the risk of trying your patience, I would like to ask you one more question. :)

Even though I have had a passion for horse racing for 30 years, and have played the game at a high level...I am reluctant to recommend the game to new players who seek my advice...because I do not consider the current version of it to be particularly desirable, from a profit-making point of view.

What would you tell a promising beginning player, who seeks your advice on the profit potential of blackjack as it's currently spread?

I admit that I have selfish motives for asking this question. With horse racing continuing down its current path...I might soon be in need of another game to play.

Hi Thask,

Just wanted to say that I will PM you about this when I can. Given the noise on this page, it seems like a better way to go.

lansdale

DeltaLover
08-14-2013, 01:09 PM
Hi Thask,

Just wanted to say that I will PM you about this when I can. Given the noise on this page, it seems like a better way to go.

lansdale


Why you just do not start a new, more specific thread? I think this is an interesting topic to most of us..

lansdale
08-14-2013, 01:38 PM
Lansdale-

Do many places offer comps for blackjack or is that only for other table games and slots?

Hi Valuist,

Comps are still available, but since the corporations took over, and especially in recent years, they've become much stingier with them. Of course, everything is relative. Below the level of black chip play, comps are negligible to invisible on the Vegas Strip. However, a mid-size casino outside of Vegas might have decent offers for green-level play.

For the average player, whatever you level of play, after a couple of hours at the table, the best advice is to simply ask the nearest floorman whether you're eligible for a comp. Typically, you'll get at least a coffee shop comp, and at higher levels of play, a comp for one of the restaurants. Surprisingly, many people don't bother to ask.

For the pro player, comps are usually a sizable part of his income, and a whole science unto itself. Typically, a player at this travels often and invariably receives numerous 'mailers' from casinos he's played offering comped RFB (room, food, and beverage), and, at times, flights. One player I know has an entire side business on e-bay selling all the high-end casino men's shop attire he receives as comps.

If you're interested in more on this subject, Max Rubin's 'Comp City' gives a fairly detailed picture of the workings of the casino comp system, although I would distance myself from some of his ideas for 'working the system', which border on the sleazy.

Cheers,

lansdale

traynor
08-14-2013, 04:35 PM
I think there's quite a few people who THINK they play basic strategy correctly and don't. It took me several months of practicing about a half hour a day, 4-5 times a week to get to around 99% accuracy on basic strategy. Then I was talking to a friend who said he and his wife knew basic strategy like the back of their hand. We went to the casino and I could see fairly quickly that both didn't have the grasp of it that they thought they did.

Some years ago I wrote a testing app for a fairly well-funded team, that was relatively successful. Virtually every team member believed that he or she was not only playing perfect (count) strategies at all times, but she or he was the sharpest tack in the box. Virtually every team member was wrong on both counts. The ability of mediocre throughbred handicappers to delude themselves about their level of skill is nothing by comparison. The fact that they were winning (for awhile) only reinforced their perceptions of "perfect play."

It should come as no great surprise that many blackjack teams require reality checks via testing software--on a daily basis. The training apps make the drills easy, but it still takes work--every day--to keep up the level of skill required to play at peak efficiency.

Worrying about 1/10th of a percent advantage or disadvantage is absurd when (highly skilled and seasoned) players are making gross errors (that they are completely unaware they are making) that toss away any minute advantage gained by counting. Rookies and wannabes don't have much chance at all.

traynor
08-14-2013, 04:43 PM
And just about the time you get really good, your name magically appears in the "Griffin Book". Full timers don't have chance either. That is the bottom line in Blackjack today.

You have to know what sets off the alarms, and how to play to avoid those particular activities. The big jumps in wagers mandatory with simple high-lows are a dead giveaway. That is why some opt for the more complex systems, and gain the advantage in play, rather than (very) conspicuous bet increases.

Teams thrive because the wagers are made by different team members. Counters count, bettors bet. It is the sudden increase in wager size (no matter how cleverly "disguised") by individuals that sets off alarms. If a solo player can't make a decent profit with no more than a 1-4 spread, he or she should spend more time doing her or his homework and learn a better strategy.

lansdale
08-14-2013, 05:27 PM
Why you just do not start a new, more specific thread? I think this is an interesting topic to most of us..

Hi DL,

Interesting to others maybe - not to me. I only commented in this thread in reply to an OP who seemed interested in learning more about the game, but ended up answering some other questions and trying to refute some of the nonsense. I really have no interest in starting a thread on this subject, considering the information asymmetry. I've mentioned a few titles and commented on others for people interested in checking out the game, and would be happy to recommend more, but blackjack, unlike handicapping, is a cut-and-dried business, where most issues have long since been worked out and little is open to debate.

BTW, since you don't believe in the claims of BJ authors that it's possible to make money playing the game any more than you believe that Bill Benter was a winning horseplayer, why are you interested in this subject? ;-)

Cheers,

lansdale

DeltaLover
08-14-2013, 05:36 PM
You have to know what sets off the alarms, and how to play to avoid those particular activities. The big jumps in wagers mandatory with simple high-lows are a dead giveaway. That is why some opt for the more complex systems, and gain the advantage in play, rather than (very) conspicuous bet increases.

Teams thrive because the wagers are made by different team members. Counters count, bettors bet. It is the sudden increase in wager size (no matter how cleverly "disguised") by individuals that sets off alarms. If a solo player can't make a decent profit with no more than a 1-4 spread, he or she should spend more time doing her or his homework and learn a better strategy.


Do you think that eight decked Atlantic Ciity ruled games can be beaten consistently and realistically?

Can the gambler's ruin be avoided given a specific bankroll and the given tiny edge?

DeltaLover
08-14-2013, 05:43 PM
Hi DL,
BTW, since you don't believe in the claims of BJ authors that it's possible to make money playing the game any more than you believe that Bill Benter was a winning horseplayer, why are you interested in this subject? ;-)


I do not say I do not believe in their claims.

What I said is that I wrote my own simulators double checking their strategies.

I concluded that what is presented in books like Beat The Dealer, KO, BBBJ is accurate.

I am interested on the subject because I know that BJ is a beatable game and I might consider it some time in the future although I am not sure that personally have the necessary skills.

Also, I am more convinced that BJ can be beaten than that Benter was a winning horseplayer.

lansdale
08-14-2013, 05:49 PM
For those who have followed this thread this far, and who are interested in blackjack - a quick summary. The only two posters in the thread who display an understanding of serious play and the current reality of the game are BlueShoe, and Magister Ludi. I believe the latter is a professional advantage player operating at a higher level than nearly everyone on this site. I also believe he is well-acquainted with very lucrative techniques 'beyond counting', so to speak. Maybe he can comment, if only obliquely.

DeltaLover
08-14-2013, 06:05 PM
For those who have followed this thread this far, and who are interested in blackjack - a quick summary. The only two posters in the thread who display an understanding of serious play and the current reality of the game are BlueShoe, and Magister Ludi. I believe the latter is a professional advantage player operating at a higher level than nearly everyone on this site. I also believe he is well-acquainted with very lucrative techniques 'beyond counting', so to speak. Maybe he can comment, if only obliquely.


Personally, I do claim a higher understanding of BJ any further than what is presented in the related bibliography. As far as those 'beyond counting' techniques, I am only aware of shuffle tracking, although I still believe is not a clear quantitative approach thus not easy (or even impossible) to back test. I certainly would like to hear more about.

I still believe that even if you are able to play perfectly, your edge will be very small therefore it is quite possible to go through very extended loosing streaks and even loose your whole bankroll.

I am not convinced that operating with a fraction of a unit theoretical edge is enough to overcome gambler's ruin unless your bankroll is really large.

If not, I would like to see the mathematical support instead of general conclusions and stories.


.

Magister Ludi
08-14-2013, 06:55 PM
For those who have followed this thread this far, and who are interested in blackjack - a quick summary. The only two posters in the thread who display an understanding of serious play and the current reality of the game are BlueShoe, and Magister Ludi. I believe the latter is a professional advantage player operating at a higher level than nearly everyone on this site. I also believe he is well-acquainted with very lucrative techniques 'beyond counting', so to speak. Maybe he can comment, if only obliquely.

Mr. Lansdale,

Thank you for the kind words. I like your subtle shoutout to Mr. JG! He and PM are always finding very lucrative opportunities. That takes a high level of knowledge and a high ratio of scouting and computation time to playing time.

I tried presenting a few state-of-the-art AP techniques several months ago in an earlier post but I was mauled by a pack of wannabe APís who basically called me a liar. However, I can assure you that there are a very few people who have consistently made seven to eight figures annually for many years in casinos around the world.

thaskalos
08-14-2013, 07:13 PM
For those who have followed this thread this far, and who are interested in blackjack - a quick summary. The only two posters in the thread who display an understanding of serious play and the current reality of the game are BlueShoe, and Magister Ludi. I believe the latter is a professional advantage player operating at a higher level than nearly everyone on this site. I also believe he is well-acquainted with very lucrative techniques 'beyond counting', so to speak. Maybe he can comment, if only obliquely.
Hi lansdale,

Although I readily acknowledge that I lack the "understanding of serious play and the current reality" of the game of blackjack that others here have exhibited...I want you to know that the questions I posed to you were sincere...and in no way was I trying to be a smart aleck in a game where my understanding is limited.

lansdale
08-14-2013, 08:27 PM
Hi lansdale,

Although I readily acknowledge that I lack the "understanding of serious play and the current reality" of the game of blackjack that others here have exhibited...I want you to know that the questions I posed to you were sincere...and in no way was I trying to be a smart aleck in a game where my understanding is limited.

Hi Thask,

You should know that I would never think anything negative about you, and I understood the intent of your questions perfectly. In my comments, which may have been too cryptic, I was not referring to questioners like Valuist or yourself, but to the semi-knowledgeable 'pontification brigade' which shows up in every thread on every conceivable subject. I think you know who I mean.

BTW, I have PMed you as promised, which I hope can be of use.

Best,

lansdale

lansdale
08-14-2013, 08:37 PM
Personally, I do claim a higher understanding of BJ any further than what is presented in the related bibliography. As far as those 'beyond counting' techniques, I am only aware of shuffle tracking, although I still believe is not a clear quantitative approach thus not easy (or even impossible) to back test. I certainly would like to hear more about.

I still believe that even if you are able to play perfectly, your edge will be very small therefore it is quite possible to go through very extended loosing streaks and even loose your whole bankroll.

I am not convinced that operating with a fraction of a unit theoretical edge is enough to overcome gambler's ruin unless your bankroll is really large.

If not, I would like to see the mathematical support instead of general conclusions and stories.


.

Hi DL,

I admit I'm not interested in working very hard to overcome your skepticism. If you don't think BJ can be beaten, so be it. If you are interested in more mathematical evidence, I suggest you pick up a copy of 'Blackjack Attack: 3rd Edition', which I've cited. Until recently, the day job of Don Schlesinger, its author, was training the derivatives traders at Morgan Stanley (should we blame him for the recession?!), and continues in this function, freelance, on a worldwide basis. He knows a lot about the mathematics of blackjack.

BTW, the beyond counting reference was not to shuffle-tracking (which does involve counting, after all, but, as I said, is nearly extinct) but to other forms of advantage play, of which, as I suspected, ML is well aware.

Cheers,

lansdale

DeltaLover
08-14-2013, 08:52 PM
Amazon only has the second edition ($150)
Is this the only reseller of the book?

http://bj21.com/ads/bj_attack_third_edition/ad.html

lansdale
08-14-2013, 08:52 PM
Mr. Lansdale,

Thank you for the kind words. I like your subtle shoutout to Mr. JG! He and PM are always finding very lucrative opportunities. That takes a high level of knowledge and a high ratio of scouting and computation time to playing time.

I tried presenting a few state-of-the-art AP techniques several months ago in an earlier post but I was mauled by a pack of wannabe APís who basically called me a liar. However, I can assure you that there are a very few people who have consistently made seven to eight figures annually for many years in casinos around the world.

Hi ML,

My pleasure. PA is fortunate to have your contribution to this site, and I am certainly grateful for anything you post. I remember well the thread to which you refer, and this was the motive for my JG reference. Truly an extraordinary and creative figure in the AP world. The people I know who are following this path, most, former blackjack players, are reaping huge rewards, just as you say. As for the PA response to your generosity - remember the fate of Prometheus.

lansdale
08-14-2013, 09:22 PM
Amazon only has the second edition ($150)
Is this the only reseller of the book?

http://bj21.com/ads/bj_attack_third_edition/ad.html

Until you brought this up, I had no idea of the price-gouging of the resellers, who are often asking hundreds of dollars for this book. Even the early editions are going for big bucks on Amazon and elsewhere - Don says that at one point, before the Kindle release, it was up to four figures in some places.

I also didn't realize that Don was only selling the softcover version himself, for $25. Here's the link. Shoot them an e-mail and you should get a response.

http://www.advantageplayer.com/rge/resellers/

thaskalos
08-15-2013, 01:48 AM
Mr. Lansdale,

Thank you for the kind words. I like your subtle shoutout to Mr. JG! He and PM are always finding very lucrative opportunities. That takes a high level of knowledge and a high ratio of scouting and computation time to playing time.

I tried presenting a few state-of-the-art AP techniques several months ago in an earlier post but I was mauled by a pack of wannabe APís who basically called me a liar. However, I can assure you that there are a very few people who have consistently made seven to eight figures annually for many years in casinos around the world.

Any chance we might be able to find his book for less than $2,000? :)

DeltaLover
08-15-2013, 07:29 AM
However, I can assure you that there are a very few people who have consistently made seven to eight figures annually for many years in casinos around the world.


Your claim about people making seven and eight figures consistently seems very impossible and unsupported by data.

Casino's are not in the business of giving money away. They are very good when it comes to protect their interest. Of course there are people who have hit them from time to time but it is very unlikely that this is something that can be repeated over and over.

It would have been more interesting to provide some concrete information, like for example what is the betting approach, strategy and expected value in suhc a way that can be verified either by computer simulators or any other statistical method.

BlueShoe
08-15-2013, 11:32 AM
Blackjack is a great game. Blackjack can be highly profitable. Blackjack--played tightly with a simple high-low count--can provide many hours of casino adventure, excitement, and wagering at little or no cost, and the possibility of a modest profit.
This is what worked for me for roughly a quarter of a century, from the late 60's to the mid 90's. Back then, good single deck games were common, I chose my spots carefully, hit and ran, Wonged it when I could, and made a modest success of it. Never ever considered going full time, I was a weekend warrior with a full time job, and played on weekends and vacations for modest stakes. I was a red chipper with occasional lite green action. The mere thought of betting blacks scared me to death. I did not have the capital, temperment, and quite bluntly, the skill, to wager serious amounts, and I wisely was aware of all this. A good trip was paying for all expenses plus a few bucks extra.

The problem arose when this no longer became worth the effort. SD games either went away, horrible rules and conditions were put in, CSMs were introduced, and casino countermeasures became far more efficient. Software that track your every move and cameras so good that they can read the serial numbers on the bills you hand the dealer are formidable foes. Even my low level flying-under-the-radar play got a lot more heat. Was never barred outright, but was informally backed off twice, ie, the floorman stopped my play and asked me not to play there anymore. More early shuffle ups, and so on.

In recent years my BJ play has been strictly recreational. After a long stressful day in the racebook, it can be relaxing to sit and play one or two, or perhaps, three, red checks at one of the remaining low limit 3-2 SD or decent DD tables while playing perfect basic strategy and unwinding from the horses. :) Still hard not to count, old instincts are still there, but no serious stuff. Funny, reading and commenting on this and previous threads on Blackjack has stirred old memories and urges, and wonder if I should go back to the game, learn new skills, and take another last shot. Were I to do so it would likely mean learning a new level 2 system and dealing with the shoe game, both things I avoided in the old much more simple days.

Valuist
08-15-2013, 11:59 AM
This is what worked for me for roughly a quarter of a century, from the late 60's to the mid 90's. Back then, good single deck games were common, I chose my spots carefully, hit and ran, Wonged it when I could, and made a modest success of it. Never ever considered going full time, I was a weekend warrior with a full time job, and played on weekends and vacations for modest stakes. I was a red chipper with occasional lite green action. The mere thought of betting blacks scared me to death. I did not have the capital, temperment, and quite bluntly, the skill, to wager serious amounts, and I wisely was aware of all this. A good trip was paying for all expenses plus a few bucks extra.

The problem arose when this no longer became worth the effort. SD games either went away, horrible rules and conditions were put in, CSMs were introduced, and casino countermeasures became far more efficient. Software that track your every move and cameras so good that they can read the serial numbers on the bills you hand the dealer are formidable foes. Even my low level flying-under-the-radar play got a lot more heat. Was never barred outright, but was informally backed off twice, ie, the floorman stopped my play and asked me not to play there anymore. More early shuffle ups, and so on.

In recent years my BJ play has been strictly recreational. After a long stressful day in the racebook, it can be relaxing to sit and play one or two, or perhaps, three, red checks at one of the remaining low limit 3-2 SD or decent DD tables while playing perfect basic strategy and unwinding from the horses. :) Still hard not to count, old instincts are still there, but no serious stuff. Funny, reading and commenting on this and previous threads on Blackjack has stirred old memories and urges, and wonder if I should go back to the game, learn new skills, and take another last shot. Were I to do so it would likely mean learning a new level 2 system and dealing with the shoe game, both things I avoided in the old much more simple days.

Interesting post. Goren said the same thing about not having played in a while but a thread about blackjack stirred up the itch.

I don't want to sound like a shill for Casino Verite, but if you are getting the itch to play, it is excellent software to practice on. I'm getting addicted to it.

traynor
08-15-2013, 12:18 PM
This is what worked for me for roughly a quarter of a century, from the late 60's to the mid 90's. Back then, good single deck games were common, I chose my spots carefully, hit and ran, Wonged it when I could, and made a modest success of it. Never ever considered going full time, I was a weekend warrior with a full time job, and played on weekends and vacations for modest stakes. I was a red chipper with occasional lite green action. The mere thought of betting blacks scared me to death. I did not have the capital, temperment, and quite bluntly, the skill, to wager serious amounts, and I wisely was aware of all this. A good trip was paying for all expenses plus a few bucks extra.

The problem arose when this no longer became worth the effort. SD games either went away, horrible rules and conditions were put in, CSMs were introduced, and casino countermeasures became far more efficient. Software that track your every move and cameras so good that they can read the serial numbers on the bills you hand the dealer are formidable foes. Even my low level flying-under-the-radar play got a lot more heat. Was never barred outright, but was informally backed off twice, ie, the floorman stopped my play and asked me not to play there anymore. More early shuffle ups, and so on.

In recent years my BJ play has been strictly recreational. After a long stressful day in the racebook, it can be relaxing to sit and play one or two, or perhaps, three, red checks at one of the remaining low limit 3-2 SD or decent DD tables while playing perfect basic strategy and unwinding from the horses. :) Still hard not to count, old instincts are still there, but no serious stuff. Funny, reading and commenting on this and previous threads on Blackjack has stirred old memories and urges, and wonder if I should go back to the game, learn new skills, and take another last shot. Were I to do so it would likely mean learning a new level 2 system and dealing with the shoe game, both things I avoided in the old much more simple days.

One of the odd things about blackjack is that most of the experts advocate simple methods as "mathematically sound and almost-as-good" as more advanced count methods. However, the realities don't seem to match the theories--VERY few are able to make a profit over time using simple plus-minus counts, regardless of the managed swings in bet size.

There are few areas (other than horse racing) in which "experts" are so quick to proclaim their expertise and provide "advice" that is theoretically sound but relatively worthless in the real world.

Read Uston's Million Dollar Blackjack. And Bryce's Blackjack for Blood. Critically. Look at what they actually wrote, not what the reader's preconceptions tweak it into to fit their own biases. There are considerably more (current) blackjack players winning with two-level and three-level counts than with simplistic plus-minus one-level counts. Why don't they brag more about it, or write more about it? Same reason those who are actually winning betting on horse races are not overly motivated to publish their information. Or to develop and sell software for a pittance so every bozo with a few bucks can get a piece of the pie.

Personally, I think the emphasis on simple plus-minus counts as the way and the light is great. It definitely makes my life easier.

thaskalos
08-15-2013, 12:25 PM
One of the odd things about blackjack is that most of the experts advocate simple methods as "mathematically sound and almost-as-good" as more advanced count methods. However, the realities don't seem to match the theories--VERY few are able to make a profit over time using simple plus-minus counts, regardless of the managed swings in bet size.

There are few areas (other than horse racing) in which "experts" are so quick to proclaim their expertise and provide "advice" that is theoretically sound but relatively worthless in the real world.

Read Uston's Million Dollar Blackjack. And Bryce's Blackjack for Blood. Critically. Look at what they actually wrote, not what the reader's preconceptions tweak it into to fit their own biases. There are considerably more (current) blackjack players winning with two-level and three-level counts than with simplistic plus-minus one-level counts. Why don't they brag more about it, or write more about it? Same reason those who are actually winning betting on horse races are not overly motivated to publish their information. Or to develop and sell software for a pittance so every bozo with a few bucks can get a piece of the pie.

Personally, I think the emphasis on simple plus-minus counts as the way and the light is great. It definitely makes my life easier.

I always wonder how people know that there are indeed "VERY few" people achieving success in a particular endeavor...especially when we are talking about a field in which people don't usually advertise their level of success.

lansdale
08-15-2013, 05:52 PM
This is what worked for me for roughly a quarter of a century, from the late 60's to the mid 90's. Back then, good single deck games were common, I chose my spots carefully, hit and ran, Wonged it when I could, and made a modest success of it. Never ever considered going full time, I was a weekend warrior with a full time job, and played on weekends and vacations for modest stakes. I was a red chipper with occasional lite green action. The mere thought of betting blacks scared me to death. I did not have the capital, temperment, and quite bluntly, the skill, to wager serious amounts, and I wisely was aware of all this. A good trip was paying for all expenses plus a few bucks extra.

The problem arose when this no longer became worth the effort. SD games either went away, horrible rules and conditions were put in, CSMs were introduced, and casino countermeasures became far more efficient. Software that track your every move and cameras so good that they can read the serial numbers on the bills you hand the dealer are formidable foes. Even my low level flying-under-the-radar play got a lot more heat. Was never barred outright, but was informally backed off twice, ie, the floorman stopped my play and asked me not to play there anymore. More early shuffle ups, and so on.

In recent years my BJ play has been strictly recreational. After a long stressful day in the racebook, it can be relaxing to sit and play one or two, or perhaps, three, red checks at one of the remaining low limit 3-2 SD or decent DD tables while playing perfect basic strategy and unwinding from the horses. :) Still hard not to count, old instincts are still there, but no serious stuff. Funny, reading and commenting on this and previous threads on Blackjack has stirred old memories and urges, and wonder if I should go back to the game, learn new skills, and take another last shot. Were I to do so it would likely mean learning a new level 2 system and dealing with the shoe game, both things I avoided in the old much more simple days.

Hi BlueShoe,

Enjoyed your posts here. You seem like an honest guy and the playing experiences you describe ring true. What really happened to players like you, red-chippers who were better than the general public, and who could make money on the much better single-deck games of yore, was that your edge was drastically reduced in the new era of bad conditions and shoe games. Actually, the game itself hasn't gotten any tougher, but, in order to make the same money you did in the old days playing single deck, you need a larger bank and larger average bet size to play the shoes. And I don't blame you or anyone else who doesn't think it's worth the trouble.

A couple of comments. First, although I hear this often, red-chippers really don't need to be concerned about improved surveilliance. They're really not tracking your action that carefully. Second, you don't need a level-2 count to make money, despite the mythology. The difference between a weekend warrior betting red or green and a pro player isn't the count they use.

Best,

lansdale

lansdale
08-15-2013, 06:26 PM
Someone in the thread is pumping out tsunamis of misinformation on multi-level counts, so I thought it worth posting a few charts from Norm 'Casino Verite' Wattenberger's site on the specs of the most well-known blackjack count systems.

I'll state this for the last time: *most pro BJ players play a single-level count*, most often Wong's Hi-Lo. Some play KO, and a few do play a level-2 count. In the era of the single-deck game, multi-level counts with high playing efficiency yielded valuable gains. But since the death of the single-deck game (or the rise of 6:5) and the increasing proliferation of multi-deck shoe games, which yield better gains to systems with better betting correlation, regardless of playing efficiency, pros have gone with single-level high-betting-correlation systems for ease of use. For more on 'ease of use' I would suggest reading the KISS chapter in Andersen's 'Burning the Tables...'.

I guarantee that the issue of count selection is as about as burning an issue in the blackjack community as how many angels can dance on the head of a pin. All the legit counts get the money. Many players simply stick with the count they originally learned because it's familiar.

By insisting on the significance of this issue, the poster reveals his ignorance about the reality of the game.

Here are Norm's charts:

http://www.qfit.com/card-counting.htm

http://www.qfit.com/chease.jpg

traynor
08-15-2013, 09:11 PM
Someone in the thread is pumping out tsunamis of misinformation on multi-level counts, so I thought it worth posting a few charts from Norm 'Casino Verite' Wattenberger's site on the specs of the most well-known blackjack count systems.

I'll state this for the last time: *most pro BJ players play a single-level count*, most often Wong's Hi-Lo. Some play KO, and a few do play a level-2 count. In the era of the single-deck game, multi-level counts with high playing efficiency yielded valuable gains. But since the death of the single-deck game (or the rise of 6:5) and the increasing proliferation of multi-deck shoe games, which yield better gains to systems with better betting correlation, regardless of playing efficiency, pros have gone with single-level high-betting-correlation systems for ease of use. For more on 'ease of use' I would suggest reading the KISS chapter in Andersen's 'Burning the Tables...'.

I guarantee that the issue of count selection is as about as burning an issue in the blackjack community as how many angels can dance on the head of a pin. All the legit counts get the money. Many players simply stick with the count they originally learned because it's familiar.

By insisting on the significance of this issue, the poster reveals his ignorance about the reality of the game.

Here are Norm's charts:

http://www.qfit.com/card-counting.htm

http://www.qfit.com/chease.jpg

If your information comes primarily from reading the works of others (as it apparently does), it is understandable that you would have such a biased view. It is also understandable that comments on "what the pros do"--when derived from the reports of a small number of respondents in a relatively closed community--would be similarly biased. However determined, such biases fail completely to alter the realities of playing blackjack.

No personal offense is intended. Your comments are pretty much plain vanilla, follow-the-party-line commentary. However, while your comments clearly establish that you have read a lot, they fail to reveal the conceptual digressions that would indicate experience in the application of that reading material.

I am always a bit skeptical of the advice of those who want to sell me something, whether a book, a system, a software application, or a (highly biased) point of view. I am even more skeptical of those who seem to read great amounts of readily available material, and yet fail to form an opinion other than, "do this because the Great One said to do it." Parroting is not an indication of knowledge--it is an indication of a lack of knowledge.

wiffleball whizz
08-15-2013, 09:38 PM
Thread has gotten to advance for me to chime in anymore.....nobody on this forum can beat the came.....if you do we can cross book at the casino...

Crossbook is whatever you do against the casino I pay you or you pay me.....save your money guys is a fairy tale land

traynor
08-15-2013, 10:41 PM
Thread has gotten to advance for me to chime in anymore.....nobody on this forum can beat the came.....if you do we can cross book at the casino...

Crossbook is whatever you do against the casino I pay you or you pay me.....save your money guys is a fairy tale land

The reality of blackjack is at the table, not posting on internet forums, reading books, or fantasizing about fame and fortune in lala land. It is a given that almost everyone (including most of the "experts") loses.

The reality of blackjack is that people want to believe that simple, quickie methods will enable them to travel the world like millionaire vagabonds, dipping into the casinos in various countries to stimulate their cash flow, and generally have fun. It sells books, it sells methods, it sells subscription forums--and it occasionally causes bankers to lose large sums of money when their "blackjack guru advisor(s)" always seem to hit major negative swings when they apply their impressively researched (on computer simulations--NOT at the table) handy dandy simple-as-pie count strategies at the tables.

Blackjack can be profitable. Blackjack can be profitable consistently and over the long run. Doing so takes a bit more work than most are willing to do. After all, they are playing a game, not working, and playing games should be both easy and fun. Blackjack authors know that, and write accordingly. Tell people what they want to believe and they will give you money. The most popular books on blackjack do exactly that. That is why they are the most popular books on blackjack.

If you are referring to the average wannabe counter armed with his or her handy dandy high-low one level "count" and a simplistic decision matrix, I agree completely. Blackjack cannot be beaten, other than possibly by a run of luck and good cards that produces a bit of profit in the short term.

wiffleball whizz
08-15-2013, 10:53 PM
The best is when people take hits on wrong cards and people get mad....like that effects the player either way Hahahahaha

Valuist
08-17-2013, 06:28 PM
I was reading about Zeljko Ranogajec and Bill Benter, two of the biggest and most successful thoroughbred bettors in the world; both got their gambling start by playing blackjack and counting cards. Ranogajec is even in the Blackjack Hall of Fame.

thaskalos
08-17-2013, 08:03 PM
There are true geniuses in every endeavor...and the gambling world has its share.

PaceAdvantage
08-19-2013, 02:29 AM
A few of you need to familiarize yourselves with the Terms of this board that you agreed to when you registered...

Here is the link:

http://www.paceadvantage.com/TOS_PrivacyStatement.html

Your posts have been quite appropriately deleted.

BetHorses!
08-19-2013, 08:04 AM
A few of you need to familiarize yourselves with the Terms of this board that you agreed to when you registered...

Here is the link:

http://www.paceadvantage.com/TOS_PrivacyStatement.html

Your posts have been quite appropriately deleted.


Sorry PA that one is on me

thaskalos
08-19-2013, 07:12 PM
There are true geniuses in every endeavor...and the gambling world has its share.

Case in point:

http://www.cigaraficionado.com/webfeatures/show/id/9203

BetHorses!
08-19-2013, 07:39 PM
What about Don Johnson (not the actor) who beat AC for 6mm in one night last year??

myhorse1
08-19-2013, 08:51 PM
another site that might be of interest to potential blackjack players is arnold snyder's blackjackforumonline.

the link is for a reality check.

http://www.blackjackforumonline.com/content/realityversushype.htm

Valuist
08-19-2013, 11:40 PM
What about Don Johnson (not the actor) who beat AC for 6mm in one night last year??

Didn't he have some special deal? I think he was getting rebated 20% of his losses. Supposedly he works for a racing software company.

BetHorses!
08-20-2013, 12:42 AM
Didn't he have some special deal? I think he was getting rebated 20% of his losses. Supposedly he works for a racing software company.



He made the deal. Its very interesting...read this

http://apheat.net/2013/05/02/don-johnson-2-how-he-beat-blackjack/

lansdale
08-20-2013, 07:57 PM
another site that might be of interest to potential blackjack players is arnold snyder's blackjackforumonline.

the link is for a reality check.

http://www.blackjackforumonline.com/content/realityversushype.htm

Very good BJ information, but no longer maintained, and Arnold is largely out of the game at this point. However, this site and all his books worth reading.

lansdale
08-20-2013, 08:00 PM
Didn't he have some special deal? I think he was getting rebated 20% of his losses. Supposedly he works for a racing software company.

He had the kind of deal you can only get if your putting up millions in advance. Loss rebates are basically free money, which is why they're almost non-existent in the USA, but remain common overseas. Some casinos don't understand the math of loss rebates, which has nothing to do with standard BJ, and is not at all simple. Don't try this at your local casino.

Cheers,

lansdale

Valuist
08-21-2013, 02:31 PM
Lansdale-

What do you think of side counting aces in addition to a regular count?

BetHorses!
08-21-2013, 05:04 PM
Yes if you can do it. Not easy

lansdale
08-23-2013, 01:35 PM
Lansdale-

What do you think of side counting aces in addition to a regular count?

Hi Valuist,

There may be a few players out there using an ace-neutral count and keeping and ace side count, but the greatly increased workload for a very small additional gain is not worth the trouble, especially vs. multiple decks. Remember KISS. If you have Casino Verite, you can try it out.

Cheers,

lansdale

lansdale
08-24-2013, 01:46 PM
Absolutely. Typical Hollywood; altering reality. This clip sums up some of the falsities in the movie:

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=c8di2N1MDBc

Are you familiar with the book "Blackjack Blueprint"?

Hi Valuist,

i had passed over this post quickly without reading, since I knew the subject line was true, but just wanted to recommend the 'Blackjack Apprenticeship' videos that these young pros have posted online. Everything they present is 100% clear and accurate, and can be an excellent site for a beginning player. Most important, they do a great job of demystifying and de-glamorizing what is actually a boring, grind-it-out game, when played seriously.

delayjf
08-25-2013, 11:04 AM
Curious, In my playing days back in the early mid 90s, I was playing green-black in Ceasars and got absolutely no heat. What level of play draws attention today?

Dave Schwartz
08-25-2013, 11:17 AM
i had passed over this post quickly without reading, since I knew the subject line was true, but just wanted to recommend the 'Blackjack Apprenticeship' videos that these young pros have posted online. Everything they present is 100% clear and accurate, and can be an excellent site for a beginning player. Most important, they do a great job of demystifying and de-glamorizing what is actually a boring, grind-it-out game, when played seriously.

I think all the winning propositions ultimately become that for the professional.

I might go so far as to say that if it is still exciting, there is something missing.

At least that was my experience at BJ (back in the stone age).

lansdale
08-25-2013, 01:51 PM
Curious, In my playing days back in the early mid 90s, I was playing green-black in Ceasars and got absolutely no heat. What level of play draws attention today?

Hi delay,

Varies greatly, but worse than 20 yrs. ago, in general. Haven't played Caeser's in a long time, since the games now suck. But if you think of say, Bellagio or Wynn as the 'Caeser's of today - top-tier stores, you would get zero heat at black/green levels. Last year, I cashed 4k in orange at Bellagio on a good day without the blink of an eye in the pit or at the cage. In general, smaller places sweat black more, and the smallest locations even sweat green action. And then, some places are unpredictably paranoid, but everyone knows (or learns) who they are. Novice red and green players are usually unduly paranoid about any call from the pit to the EITS, 99.9% of which are not about them.

Cheers,

lansdale

lansdale
08-25-2013, 01:53 PM
I think all the winning propositions ultimately become that for the professional.

I might go so far as to say that if it is still exciting, there is something missing.

At least that was my experience at BJ (back in the stone age).

Hi Dave,

And why most people who are capable of winning drop the game eventually.

Best,

lansdale

Dave Schwartz
08-25-2013, 02:12 PM
And why most people who are capable of winning drop the game eventually.

That would be in agreement with my experience at BJ, video poker and, to some degree, horses.

:ThmbUp:

Dave

wiffleball whizz
08-25-2013, 04:30 PM
That would be in agreement with my experience at BJ, video poker and, to some degree, horses.

:ThmbUp:

Dave

Dave I would love to hear to take on video poker.....I'm gonna start a thread on all casino gambling.....it seems there are a lot of smart horse players here that are keeping there casino knowledge hidden.....video poker is tricky

Valuist
08-25-2013, 09:39 PM
[QUOTE=lansdale]Hi Valuist,

i had passed over this post quickly without reading, since I knew the subject line was true, but just wanted to recommend the 'Blackjack Apprenticeship' videos that these young pros have posted online. Everything they present is 100% clear and accurate, and can be an excellent site for a beginning player. Most important, they do a great job of demystifying and de-glamorizing what is actually a boring, grind-it-out game, when played seriously.[/QUOTE

I have heard of it and checked it out. I believe those were the guys who formed the "Christian card counting team" back around the turn of the century.

Valuist
08-25-2013, 09:42 PM
Dave I would love to hear to take on video poker.....I'm gonna start a thread on all casino gambling.....it seems there are a lot of smart horse players here that are keeping there casino knowledge hidden.....video poker is tricky

Wiffleball-

You should check out the "Gambling with an Edge" podcasts at Bob Dancer's site. I only listen for the BJ portions but they do quite a bit on video poker.

Dave Schwartz
08-25-2013, 10:18 PM
Dave I would love to hear to take on video poker.....I'm gonna start a thread on all casino gambling.....it seems there are a lot of smart horse players here that are keeping there casino knowledge hidden.....video poker is tricky

1. Do a search for the Internet Wayback Machine.
Internet Wayback Machine (http://lmgtfy.com/?q=internet+wayback+machine)

2. Once you find the wayback machine, then search for VPTRUTH.COM. You must go back in the archives. Someone else owns the site now and it is not what it used to be.

Go back to like 2008 and before. You will find some very interesting articles on how to beat the game without a positive expectancy.


Note to those of you who want to jump on me for putting this up: Please resist the urge. This is for information purposes only; not discussion of whether or not I agree.

Somewhere I captured the entire site - at least all the interesting articles (including his systems). It was fascinating stuff and some amazing claims.


Dave

Valuist
09-25-2013, 10:37 AM
Lansdale-

Do you do any shuffle tracking? I would have to think this would be a very difficult task to master.

lansdale
09-25-2013, 08:43 PM
Lansdale-

Do you do any shuffle tracking? I would have to think this would be a very difficult task to master.

Hi Valuist,

I learned shuffle tracking during the '80s, after the word was out in blackjack circles. The problem with it is not just that it's difficult to master - it's about visual acuity and correctly estimating the value of card clumps rather than any intellectual skill, and though this is fairly difficult for most, some guys seem to have a knack for it - the crucial problem is that you have no benchmark (as you do with counting) for correct play. Even before the casinos went to more complex shuffles in the mid-'90s to counter possible shuffle-trackers, ending its effectiveness for all practical purposes, I knew only a couple of guys who claimed to do this successfully. Now, I don't know anyone who does. Below, I've linked a post by Richard Munchkin, a longtime pro player and gambling writer, who sums up the situation well.

http://www.richardmunchkin.com/2013/04/shuffle-tracking-ace-sequencing.html#more

Here's another valuable link from his site for new players, which I think answer some questions of posters here. Most significantly, re 'level 2' counts:

"Okay, you want the "hard" count. If an easy count would win $50 per hour you want the hard count that will win $51 per hour. Maybe throw in a side count of aces and 7s. Boost that win up to $51.05. The count for you is one of these - Zen, Uston APC, Revere APC, or Hi Opt II. But make no mistake - if your end goal is to make as much money as possible, these counts are not for you. These counts are for people who will not play lots of hours, and want to play single, and double deck. These counts are for the type of guy who likes to be able to solve a Rubik's Cube."

"Show me the money! It's all about the Benjamins!
If you just want to make the most money possible I would recommend the Hi Lo. For that you should read Professional Blackjack (http://www.amazon.com/gp/product/0935926216/ref=as_li_ss_tl?ie=UTF8&camp=1789&creative=390957&creativeASIN=0935926216&linkCode=as2&tag=richardmunchk-20) by Stanford Wong. Hi Lo is a simple strong count, and if you ever team up with someone chances are this is the count they use. The large successful teams of the past like the MIT team or the Hyland team used this count and won many millions of dollars. I know you are saying, "Why can't I use the "better" count if my goal is maximum earn?" Obviously you can, but I don't think you will earn more money. Making money counting these days means playing shoe games. The stronger counts perform better on the single and double deck games. Playing one of these counts for long hours will cause you to make mistakes, and become mentally fatigued sooner. If you can play just one extra shoe because you are using an easier count then you have more than made up for any gain you would have had with a stronger count."

And especially focus on #3 - what's really important.


http://www.richardmunchkin.com/2012/12/advice-to-new-card-counters.html

Cheers,

lansdale

wiffleball whizz
09-25-2013, 09:11 PM
Wiffleball-

You should check out the "Gambling with an Edge" podcasts at Bob Dancer's site. I only listen for the BJ portions but they do quite a bit on video poker.


Very proud to say I'm clean from VP for prob 2 months.....prob lost 10k in last 3 year that..;;;brutalness

Dave Schwartz
09-26-2013, 01:45 AM
Lansdale,

In the mid-70s I played the APC, with a side-count of aces and 8s, then later added 5s and 6s. Frankly, I could do that in my sleep. In fact, sometimes I did. LOL

I had a great playing partner back then named Jim Smith. No joke. That was really his name. He was the greatest shuffle tracker I ever saw on a single or double deck.

Our claim to fame was that we charmed them. Everybody KNEW we counted. We just greased all the floormen so well with gifts that they let us play. Same for the dealers.

One time we were playing single deck at the Four Queens (7 seats; 4 players, counting us) for small stakes (greens) and Jim was really dialed in on the deck. As the dealer is finishing her shuffle, he says, "Oh, let me cut!" She pushes him the cards and he says, "Get ready for all 4 aces in the first hand!"

So, we fire up off the top, sure enough, 4 snappers show up. Unfortunately, one of them was the dealer's with the ace underneath.

He was just really impressive. I had no clue how to do that.

bugboy
09-26-2013, 11:31 AM
if ya wanna learn more 'bout bj, this is one of the best places.....
stanford wongs bj.com
believe me I am not in any way involved with these people other than being a member of their green chip site. take a look at it. let me know what ya think about it.

Valuist
09-26-2013, 05:59 PM
Lansdale-

Thanks for the response. I listen to Richard Munchkin on the podcast he does weekly with at Bob Dancer's site.

Wiffle-

Clean from VP.....but certainly not clean from betting sports.

lansdale
09-28-2013, 01:29 PM
if ya wanna learn more 'bout bj, this is one of the best places.....
stanford wongs bj.com
believe me I am not in any way involved with these people other than being a member of their green chip site. take a look at it. let me know what ya think about it.

I don't want to seem to be promoting Wong's site, since I've mentioned him a few times in this thread, but this is the place to go to learn about BJ. One comment - although anyone can join the Green Chip page for a small monthly fee (I think $12, but it may have gone up - I don't check my bill), for newer players the Free page is probably a better place to go and ask questions - the are a number of very knowledgeable pro and serious amateurs who post there and will answer basic questions. Green Chip is also very good, but the level is much higher and there is often much less patience in dealing with basic issues.

lansdale
09-28-2013, 01:53 PM
Lansdale-

Thanks for the response. I listen to Richard Munchkin on the podcast he does weekly with at Bob Dancer's site.

Wiffle-

Clean from VP.....but certainly not clean from betting sports.

Hi Valuist,

I haven't listened to Munchkin's show, but when it comes to BJ, he certainly knows his stuff.

I've noticed that there seems to be a general theme among new BJ aspirants of 'how can I get better'? The fact is, once you are playing correctly, making the correct plays and bets (and hopefully having someone monitor this), and being comfortable doing so in a casino, the most important step, as the Munchkin podcast suggests, is game selection.

Since, with the expansion of casino gambling, there's now a huge choice of BJ games available, the ability to quickly analyze game quality is key. Part of this may seem obvious - you want games with fewer decks, better cuts, better rules etc., but much is also surprisingly counterintuitive. Isn't the 2-deck game with the .5 cut better than the 6-deck game with a one-deck cut - probably not. To compare games, many years ago Don Schlesinger developed a tool called SCORE, to compare and evaluate blackjack games. For those familiar with the financial world, it's very similar to the Sharpe Ratio (in fact Don claims he was first with this!). If you have or obtain a copy of his book, it's filled with pages of SCORE charts, with appropriate bet ramps, for the vast majority of extant blackjack games. Combine this with 'real world' conditions - table crowding, dealer speed, casino tolerance etc., and you begin to have an idea how pro players operate.

Cheers,

lansdale

wiffleball whizz
09-28-2013, 02:53 PM
You guys are sick human beings......great guys just sick cadets

proximity
09-28-2013, 04:17 PM
i just play basic strategy for recreation, but i'm going to have to boycott all caesar's properties after i was busted at slowboat a.c. for wrongly collecting $10.

i break, put out my next $10, the dealer breaks, and mistakenly pays me on the break.

i'm sitting there with like $30 left when 10 min later the phone rings in the pit. :rolleyes:

uhh?? slowboat, i'm going to lose that $30 and probably keep coming back to lose thousands more over the years. or at least i was.

hopefully borgata busts me on my next a.c. trip. :D

Poindexter
10-03-2013, 08:10 AM
Good discussion here. Was wondering if card clumping is a real issue when counting cards into shoes. I remember reading about it a number of years ago. The idea was that the shuffles were not adequate enough to randomize the deck and the nature of the game caused small cards and big cards to clump together. The theory made a lot of sense to me and seemed to play out on the tables. Also it seems like clumping would make the game real hard to beat. Landale or anyone else, any thoughts on this subject. Also with regards to disguising bet size, I always felt that if rather than flat betting, if you played like most people do, increase your bet after a win, it is much easier to disguise your play. For instance You are betting $50 and hand then all of a sudden a good count and you go to $250 and the table is loaded with picture cards you just totally gave yourself away. But if you go from 50 to 100 after a win to 200 after another win and at that point you either stay at 200 or increase modestly after that, it is much easier to make subtle or not that subtle adjustments when playing in favorable or unfavorable situations without really looking suspicious. Also it lets you take advantage of the streaks of the game, as you are betting minimum when you go on your long losing streaks and you are betting much higher stakes when you go on your long winning streaks. Obviously you get destroyed when you cannot muster up a winning streak of 3 hands in a row, which of course will happen from time to time.

thaskalos
10-03-2013, 02:33 PM
Good discussion here. Was wondering if card clumping is a real issue when counting cards into shoes. I remember reading about it a number of years ago. The idea was that the shuffles were not adequate enough to randomize the deck and the nature of the game caused small cards and big cards to clump together. The theory made a lot of sense to me and seemed to play out on the tables. Also it seems like clumping would make the game real hard to beat. Landale or anyone else, any thoughts on this subject. Also with regards to disguising bet size, I always felt that if rather than flat betting, if you played like most people do, increase your bet after a win, it is much easier to disguise your play. For instance You are betting $50 and hand then all of a sudden a good count and you go to $250 and the table is loaded with picture cards you just totally gave yourself away. But if you go from 50 to 100 after a win to 200 after another win and at that point you either stay at 200 or increase modestly after that, it is much easier to make subtle or not that subtle adjustments when playing in favorable or unfavorable situations without really looking suspicious. Also it lets you take advantage of the streaks of the game, as you are betting minimum when you go on your long losing streaks and you are betting much higher stakes when you go on your long winning streaks. Obviously you get destroyed when you cannot muster up a winning streak of 3 hands in a row, which of course will happen from time to time.

The problem is that the emergence of the favorable count of a particular shoe will not necessarily lead to the type of winning streak which would allow the escalation of your bets to go unnoticed. What do you do when the count becomes favorable while you have lost a few hands in a row?

There is a misconception that the "counter's" edge is so great that ANY betting variation will lead to some sort of profit, as long as he bets more when the deck is "favorable". The reality is that the counter's edge is very slim...and there is very little room for any deviations from "perfect play" -- either in playing strategy or in the betting.

The counter drastically raises his bet even though he knows that he may attract attention, not because he wants to...but because he has to.

Your last couple of sentences concerning the theory of escalating your wagers while you win have been the subject of several books...and I have read them too. It is supposedly possible to overcome the disadvantage that the player faces in the game, by trying to take advantage of the "winning streaks" that are likely to occur while playing.

I, myself, am not impressed by the logic of this argument....

myhorse1
10-03-2013, 06:15 PM
an incredible amount of information is available at this
site.

a great deal of it is free with no registration.


http://www.qfit.com/book/

myhorse1
10-03-2013, 06:25 PM
from poindexter
Obviously you get destroyed when you cannot muster up a winning streak of 3 hands in a row, which of course will happen from time to time.

regarding streaks-- from somewhere on the previous on the site i mentioned i got this graphic.

streaks of three less than 10% of the time.


http://www.blackjackincolor.com/useless3.htm

davew
10-03-2013, 11:19 PM
The best is when people take hits on wrong cards and people get mad....like that effects the player either way Hahahahaha

I can see why you are sure it can't be beat.

lansdale
10-03-2013, 11:21 PM
Good discussion here. Was wondering if card clumping is a real issue when counting cards into shoes. I remember reading about it a number of years ago. The idea was that the shuffles were not adequate enough to randomize the deck and the nature of the game caused small cards and big cards to clump together. The theory made a lot of sense to me and seemed to play out on the tables. Also it seems like clumping would make the game real hard to beat. Landale or anyone else, any thoughts on this subject. Also with regards to disguising bet size, I always felt that if rather than flat betting, if you played like most people do, increase your bet after a win, it is much easier to disguise your play. For instance You are betting $50 and hand then all of a sudden a good count and you go to $250 and the table is loaded with picture cards you just totally gave yourself away. But if you go from 50 to 100 after a win to 200 after another win and at that point you either stay at 200 or increase modestly after that, it is much easier to make subtle or not that subtle adjustments when playing in favorable or unfavorable situations without really looking suspicious. Also it lets you take advantage of the streaks of the game, as you are betting minimum when you go on your long losing streaks and you are betting much higher stakes when you go on your long winning streaks. Obviously you get destroyed when you cannot muster up a winning streak of 3 hands in a row, which of course will happen from time to time.

From your post, you sound like you count, but you seem to have only a fuzzy idea of why blackjack is beatable or, in general, the math of gambling. Don't know what you heard about card clumping. If it was the TARGET nonsense from decades back, it was a huge and profitable scam. Ignore it. The issue of non-random shuffles was exhaustively researched three decades ago, but this is a good summary by Arnold Snyder of why it's a non-issue, from only two decades back.

"John Immingís Real World Casino (RWC) software allows programmable, nonrandom, casino-style shuffles. The deck(s) begin in regulation new deck order, and the shuffle routines simulate actual riffles, strips, cuts and washes, as fine or as clumpy as you decide, even utilizing casino-style breaks into multiple shuffling segments if you so desire.

Hereís what Iíve found with the RWC software so far:

The biggest effect on the playerís expectation I could find comes from no shuffling whatsoever. Ironically, this is a player advantage, not a house advantage. Iíve tried Immingís software with 1, 2, 4, 6 and 8 deck games, with both lay & pay, and pick & pay, dealing styles, and the player advantage rises by .70%-.75% if playing one-on-one with the dealer, regardless of the number of decks in play or the pick up style. Somehow, the play of the hands puts the cards into an order that favors the player.

Both Stanford Wong and John Gwynn had independently discovered this years earlier. Wong, in fact, ran a computer analysis to determine in what way the play of the hands ordered the discards differently from random, and he discovered that in the discard pile high cards do tend to clump with high cards, and low cards with low cards. We donít know why this favors the player, but it does.

As multiple players are added to the table, this no-shuffle player advantage diminishes. For some reason, the first base side of the table retains the advantage, but the third base side loses it and then some.

Once you start adding any type of shuffle at all to the game, the (dis)advantages diminish, until the real world shuffle results are indistinguishable from random-number-generated shuffle results. The biggest effect I could find in a simulated casino game, utilizing what I figured to be the sloppiest shuffle you might realistically expect to find, was a couple tenths of a percent more or less than the normal basic strategy expectation."

http://www.blackjackforumonline.com/content/nonrandom_shuffle_blackjack_systems.htm

As far as exploiting those clumps profitably, i.e. shuffle-tracking, I think the Munchkin piece above makes clear why this is now a non-starter, unless you're headed for Eastern Slovakia.

Parlaying rather than jumping your bet is a valid way to avoid attention, but if you're playing the shoe game, as most are, the true count changes so slowly that a bet jump of this kind would almost never be justified anyway. As I've said before in this thread, at these bet levels (yes, even 250) there's less attention being paid to your play than you think.

Re streaks, your play has no effect on them one way or other. You just have to play through them, and as every gambler knows, they can be brutal. You seem unaware of the Law of Independent Trials - the outcomes of successive bets (trials) are uncorrelated. What happened on your last bet has absolutely nothing to do with the next. When you refer to unfavorable situations, I assume you're talking about negative counts. If you're playing negative counts, you should stop. The life you save could be your bankroll's.

Cheers,

lansdale

lansdale
10-03-2013, 11:26 PM
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lansdale
10-03-2013, 11:28 PM
I can see why you are sure it can't be beat.

WW may not understand why blackjack can be beaten, but his quote was right.

Paul Revere
10-04-2013, 06:53 PM
If anyone is looking for a really good BJ book, read The Ultimate Edge by Mark Billings, it is my favourite gambling book. It tells the story of a BJ team in the 80s (it's not a strategy book) that travels the world and uses multiple techniques (counting, shuffle tracking, spooking etc.) to beat the games and get the money. It is an incredible story and very well written. The book has 20 amazon reviews, all are 5 stars.

http://www.amazon.com/Ultimate-Edge-Mark-Billings/dp/1439215928/ref=sr_1_1?s=books&ie=UTF8&qid=1380926321&sr=1-1&keywords=the+ultimate+edge



Another book which may be of interest is The Blackjack Life by Nathaniel Tilton. It tells Nathaniel 's BJ story of how he went to a Semyon Dukach training seminar and met a friend there and they went on to become successful weekend warrior type BJ players.

http://www.amazon.com/The-Blackjack-Life-Counting-Clandestine/dp/1935396331/ref=pd_bxgy_b_img_y

lansdale
10-05-2013, 11:09 AM
If anyone is looking for a really good BJ book, read The Ultimate Edge by Mark Billings, it is my favourite gambling book. It tells the story of a BJ team in the 80s (it's not a strategy book) that travels the world and uses multiple techniques (counting, shuffle tracking, spooking etc.) to beat the games and get the money. It is an incredible story and very well written. The book has 20 amazon reviews, all are 5 stars.

http://www.amazon.com/Ultimate-Edge-Mark-Billings/dp/1439215928/ref=sr_1_1?s=books&ie=UTF8&qid=1380926321&sr=1-1&keywords=the+ultimate+edge



Another book which may be of interest is The Blackjack Life by Nathaniel Tilton. It tells Nathaniel 's BJ story of how he went to a Semyon Dukach training seminar and met a friend there and they went on to become successful weekend warrior type BJ players.

http://www.amazon.com/The-Blackjack-Life-Counting-Clandestine/dp/1935396331/ref=pd_bxgy_b_img_y

Hi PR,

Agree about the first book. 'UE' is probably the best written and most entertaining book ever written about blackjack, but won't be of any help to someone trying to learn how to beat the game in the 21st century. The events take place in the early '80s, when casinos were more clueless, enabling a number of teams using BJ computers to make some nice scores. In this case, the players were using a shuffle-tracking computer, which provided a level of accuracy far superior to human ST. Unfortunately, this golden age soon came to an end with the outlawing of 'gambling devices' in most gambling venues.

Actually more of a character study than a gambling book, it provides a very good picture of the often comic realities of team play, including the logistical screw-ups and, in this case, frequent technical malfunctions of the jerry-rigged computers. If I were going to recommend a book to a non-gambling friend, it would be this rather than this fabricated 'Bringing Down the House'. Just remember it's a trip down memory lane.

Cheers,

lansdale

Robert Goren
10-05-2013, 04:33 PM
It was written a long time ago, but I found The Big Player by Ken Uston to very interesting. It got me interested blackjack many years ago.

Rookies
10-05-2013, 08:49 PM
Single deck blackjack games that pay 6-5 for blackjacks rather than the traditional standard 3-2 is an abomination that no savvy player would ever play. It adds an extra 1.39% house advantage, a huge extra bite that no player, no matter how skilled, can overcome. The problem is that these games have spread all over the state of Nevada, and have almost become standard. A single deck game that pays 3-2 for naturals, has good rules and pen, with a low minimum bet has become virtually obsolete in the blackjack world. :(

At one time the Las Vegas Strip had the best BJ games on the planet, now it has many of the worst. There are still some 3-2 games, but they usually have very high minimum bets, $100 is common. The Nevada clubs that still have low limit SD games with 3-2 blackjacks, such as in Laughlin and Reno/Tahoe usually have bad rules, such as only permitting doubling on hard 10 and 11, and poor pen. Am not really up to date on current game conditions, but in my casual play the best choice now seems to be a double deck game with decent rules, but even these games have become hard to find.

Blue, when my group and I go to Vegas, we stay at Harrah's/ Paris and shuffle off to this place on Koval: http://www.ellisislandcasino.com/ellis/ellis_landing.html

Now, we're only Red- Green players 99% of the time, but this little joint (really for the locals) we find great! 6 Decks (Non auto shuffle) of 3/2, $5-$300 BJ and they have great food, including super Ribs, their own Brew Pub, etc. It's perfect for us, as nobody goes there and we can move in and take over a whole table generally. There are only 3-4!:rolleyes: With a bit of play, you can easily get a free meal.

You can generally be a bit loud and a bit obnoxious and we tip the ladies' well, so they like us, if the Head Pit Boss sometimes doesn't. Certainly possible to win, if everyone plays hard line Basic. Biggest benefit? We're not getting pounded with 6/5 + Min Green, like the big places a block away.

Try it, next time you're in town.

_______
10-09-2013, 04:33 PM
Blue, when my group and I go to Vegas, we stay at Harrah's/ Paris and shuffle off to this place on Koval: http://www.ellisislandcasino.com/ellis/ellis_landing.html

Now, we're only Red- Green players 99% of the time, but this little joint (really for the locals) we find great! 6 Decks (Non auto shuffle) of 3/2, $5-$300 BJ and they have great food, including super Ribs, their own Brew Pub, etc. It's perfect for us, as nobody goes there and we can move in and take over a whole table generally. There are only 3-4!:rolleyes: With a bit of play, you can easily get a free meal.

You can generally be a bit loud and a bit obnoxious and we tip the ladies' well, so they like us, if the Head Pit Boss sometimes doesn't. Certainly possible to win, if everyone plays hard line Basic. Biggest benefit? We're not getting pounded with 6/5 + Min Green, like the big places a block away.

Try it, next time you're in town.

Why do I feel like Ron Burgundy wrote this review?

Try reading it with his voice in your head and see what you think.

BlueShoe
10-15-2013, 04:08 PM
Okay, partly because of this thread :D , and partly because of an upcoming trip to Reno/Tahoe, just for fun :) decided to test the old skills with the old drill that counters are supposed to know and practice. You know the one, take a deck of cards, and at first deal one card at a time face up, slowly, and then faster, and then deal two cards at a time faster and faster, all the while keeping a running count using your preferred system. If your count is not what it was supposed to be after all the cards have been dealt, you have made a counting error. In my case, using the simple plus minus or high/low, the count should be zero at the end of the deck. The results were not good, I am r-u-s-t-y :blush: :( .

Because of poor game conditions at SLT, it may be best to just stay in the racebook, or if venturing to the BJ tables, just find a game with the best rules and play perfect basic strategy, which is still instinctive in me, for low stakes. I am not ready for any serious counting ventures. Just as an athlete may get out of shape, so too do card counters, and both require lots of effort and practice to return to peak form.

Valuist
10-16-2013, 01:15 PM
Okay, partly because of this thread :D , and partly because of an upcoming trip to Reno/Tahoe, just for fun :) decided to test the old skills with the old drill that counters are supposed to know and practice. You know the one, take a deck of cards, and at first deal one card at a time face up, slowly, and then faster, and then deal two cards at a time faster and faster, all the while keeping a running count using your preferred system. If your count is not what it was supposed to be after all the cards have been dealt, you have made a counting error. In my case, using the simple plus minus or high/low, the count should be zero at the end of the deck. The results were not good, I am r-u-s-t-y :blush: :( .

Because of poor game conditions at SLT, it may be best to just stay in the racebook, or if venturing to the BJ tables, just find a game with the best rules and play perfect basic strategy, which is still instinctive in me, for low stakes. I am not ready for any serious counting ventures. Just as an athlete may get out of shape, so too do card counters, and both require lots of effort and practice to return to peak form.

Glad you were inspired by the thread and here's hoping you crush the casino.

TJDave
12-30-2013, 07:51 PM
Lansdale,

In the mid-70s I played the APC, with a side-count of aces and 8s, then later added 5s and 6s. Frankly, I could do that in my sleep. In fact, sometimes I did. LOL

I had a great playing partner back then named Jim Smith. No joke. That was really his name. He was the greatest shuffle tracker I ever saw on a single or double deck.

Our claim to fame was that we charmed them. Everybody KNEW we counted. We just greased all the floormen so well with gifts that they let us play. Same for the dealers.

One time we were playing single deck at the Four Queens (7 seats; 4 players, counting us) for small stakes (greens) and Jim was really dialed in on the deck. As the dealer is finishing her shuffle, he says, "Oh, let me cut!" She pushes him the cards and he says, "Get ready for all 4 aces in the first hand!"

So, we fire up off the top, sure enough, 4 snappers show up. Unfortunately, one of them was the dealer's with the ace underneath.

He was just really impressive. I had no clue how to do that.

Something that has always bothered me about counting. Say you have a high count, meaning the deck is rich with face cards. Isn't that a good thing for the dealer, as well?

thaskalos
12-30-2013, 08:15 PM
Something that has always bothered me about counting. Say you have a high count, meaning the deck is rich with face cards. Isn't that a good thing for the dealer, as well?
Yes, but the player gets paid 3/2 on blackjacks...and is not obligated to hit the stiffs.

lansdale
12-30-2013, 09:38 PM
Something that has always bothered me about counting. Say you have a high count, meaning the deck is rich with face cards. Isn't that a good thing for the dealer, as well?

Hi TJ,

Thask's response is correct. I would only add the key difference between dealer and player in BJ is that they player has many more options, while the dealer's play is more constrained and completely pre-determined. Most of the player's advantage comes from correctly using the double down, splitting, surrender etc. options. Correct use of the insurance option, e.g. comprises fully 1/3 of the counter's advantage, and nothing could be simpler.

Cheers,

lansdale

Valuist
01-10-2014, 10:13 AM
Lansdale-

In your opinion, what percentage of casinos offer the surrender option? I've only played blackjack in a handful of casinos (all in Midwest) and none offered the surrender option.

Tee
01-10-2014, 12:36 PM
http://wizardofvegas.com/guides/blackjack-survey//

bugboy
01-10-2014, 01:19 PM
try "BLACK JACK ATTACK"

Valuist
01-10-2014, 02:37 PM
http://wizardofvegas.com/guides/blackjack-survey//

thanks